More Than your Average Internship

by Andrew Flowers, Guest Blogger

Andrew and Olivia

Andrew and Olivia

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.

Olivia with Andrew summer 2011

Olivia with Andrew summer 2011

This entry was posted in Guest Blogger, Kids & Families, Ronald McDonald House Charities and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to More Than your Average Internship

  1. Jeanna Malter says:

    Thank you Andrew. Olivia inspired everyone who got to know her. Olivia’s parents, Cliff and Lena are grateful for the RMHC and the friends they made while staying at the RMHC.

  2. Paula Duke says:

    Thank you for sharing Olivia’s story, Andrew. She’s precious! We are glad to have you with us, and I have no doubt that you’ll find something spectacular!

  3. Elizabeth Williams says:

    How fortunate RMHC is to have Andrew as an
    Intern this semester! It sounds like a win-win
    situation for all involved!

    Once you’ve experienced the love and support at The House, it’s easy to want to give back to others on their crisis!

    Thanks & Good Luck, Andrew!

  4. Andrew – we are so glad your love for your family and for RMHC brought you to us. Thank you for sharing Olivia’s story, and thanks for pouring your heart and soul into this internship.

  5. UTRose says:

    Andrew – we’ve really enjoyed having you here working alongside all of us. Here’s to a wonderful future ahead! (and thanks again for my “Twitter for Dummies” class!) =) ~Jane Rose

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