by Jan Gunter
Today is Friday, and it’s our first blog post this week. You sharp ones have figured out that this means we didn’t blog this week on Monday OR Thursday. Sometimes life and work take over! So today I woke up thinking about what a great couple of (busy) weeks it has been at RMHC Austin. Here are a few highlights:
Last week we talked to Eliazar and Charisa Mauricio and met their tiny baby boy, Elijah, in the NICU at St. David’s Medical Center. Robert Maxwell of KXAN worked with us on this story (which aired Monday) about the new Ronald McDonald Family Room opening on June 28. Robert is a great reporter, an interviewer who puts people at ease, and a gentleman. It was fun working with him. Eliazar and Charisa were wonderful on camera as they graciously shared their story. (Click image to view the KXAN story). I had the pleasure of watching all of this unfold and seeing two-pound Elijah move his tiny arm around and look at his parents. Wow!
Then there’s Nicholas. He comes to the Ronald McDonald House every week so he can get his treatments at the oncology clinic next door. He agreed to have his picture taken with me recently, and as you can see from the photo, that was a happy moment. Nicholas will often come into the office looking for me or Derrick or Ann. He makes the rounds through our offices, eating Ann’s mints, playing with everything on my desk, helping organize the room keys in Derrick’s office, and leaving me cash donations for the Ronald McDonald House in my empty candy jar. His aunt and uncle sent in over $80.00 in spare change last week, and he wanted to add to their donation. Seeing Nicholas walk into the office and march straight back to my desk with his dollar bill donation, and being a participant in his generosity is humbling.
We’ve also been thinking about Father’s Day and what it means to a dad whose child is hospitalized or needing ongoing medical treatment. We wrote a couple of emails about this.
There’s so much more:
- My new interns, Sarah Gerson and Brennan Barnhill, are fabulous! They are learning a lot, and we are learning from them as well. I welcome intern #3 next week fresh from Wake Forest – Christina Munson.
- All of us here at RMHC are busily preparing to open the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. David’s Medical Center and are prepping for a Fox 7 story about that next week. Come volunteer at the new Family Room!
- I’ve been asked to be on a panel for Social Media Club Austin next Tuesday, talking about social media and nonprofits – please join us there!
- We had our first Lights of Love committee meeting yesterday, and what an amazing committee it is. Save the date – December 7, 2012, Lights of Love 5K and 1K – it promises to be the best yet. And use #RMHC5K on Twitter!
- And finally, I went to the Austin Shakespeare lunch this week as a guest of my friend and PR compatriot, Dara Quackenbush. At the lunch, I met Kathy Estes of Frost Bank, who used to coordinate Frost volunteer groups for the Ronald McDonald House, 7 – 10 years ago, working with Missy Strittmatter on those projects. It is a small world! And I also met a new friend, Meeta, who is interested in volunteering at the new Family Room. And you thought Shakespeare and the Ronald McDonald House didn’t have anything in common!
As it turns out wherever I go, I find people who are interested in the work we are doing at the Ronald McDonald House. And with good reason! What we do here is nothing short of amazing. I’m proud to be part of this team in Austin working to support families in very tangible ways when their children are facing pediatric medical crisis.
So here’s my question to you: What is your experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities? Every connection is a good one! Please share it with us in the comments below.