by Andrew Flowers, Guest Blogger
While searching through internships at the beginning of this semester I was looking for more than just experience… I was looking for a way to give back. After hearing about internship openings at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me.
I have experienced firsthand the impact that Ronald McDonald House Charities has on families and their children. When my cousin, Olivia Billings, was born premature with cardiomyopathy in 2003, my aunt and uncle were in need of a place to stay long-term near the hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. RMHC of St. Louis opened their doors to my family and provided them with a comfortable place to stay near Olivia while she was in the hospital. Over the next nine years, Olivia underwent two heart transplants, a valve replacement and several other heart surgeries. During each of her extended stays at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, my aunt and uncle never had to worry about where they would stay or if they could afford it.
Seeing how much Ronald McDonald House Charities has done for my family has given me a passion to help others in the same way. Working as the Communications Intern at RMHC Austin during my last semester in college has been the perfect way to do it. I have enjoyed the opportunity to use what I have learned these past three years in college while doing what I love.
This year, on what would have been Olivia’s 10th birthday, I made sure to have a burger at “O’s” favorite restaurant, McDonald’s, and make a donation to the charity which has done so much for families like mine. Keeping families together is central to the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and when you have witnessed the difference RMHC makes firsthand, it’s just that much more inspiring.
About Andrew Flowers
Andrew joined RMHC Austin as a Communications Intern in February, 2013. Andrew is a 22-year-old senior attending Texas State University. He will be graduating in May 2013 with a B.A. in Public Relations. Andrew is enjoying his time interning with RMHC Austin and hopes to find a full-time position at a nonprofit organization after graduation.