Happy New Year to all! Thank you all for supporting Ronald McDonald House New York through an unprecedented year. 2020 brought a great deal of loss, fear and uncertainty but we couldn’t have persevered through it all without you, our amazing community of volunteers. While there is still a hard road ahead, we face it more prepared and full of hope, knowing our community was able to come together to lift us up in the darkest of times.
We wanted to look back and share with you some of the bright moments from last year:
Team: Wednesday Night
How Rita became a Volunteer at RMH-NY: Long ago my very best friend had a 5-year-old boy with a neuroblastoma of the brain. The family sat in the hospital day and night by his side. I joined them many times to keep them company. There was no social support, emotional support or opportunities for help, except direct medical intervention. They sat there devastated and lonely. When I found out about Ronald McDonald House many years later I heard that they were instrumental in making the sorely needed changes that my friends had earlier experienced and I wanted to be part of that change! So, 22 years ago I became a volunteer and I am so very grateful to be given that opportunity.
Rita’s Gratitude: “I want to thank the Ronald McDonald House for allowing me to help and be a part of that much needed change. You are the best!”
Years Volunteering: 22
Favorite Events or Activity: When I walk into the House on any given Wednesday night I hear the same words from the kids. “Are we doing Bingo tonight?” Even though we do so many other activities with the families like painting, dancing, music and cooking, BINGO is always one of their favorite activities AND MINE TOO. I love seeing their faces light up when Andrew and Earl call out the numbers. They make the game so much fun with their wild and crazy antics.
A few of Rita’s Special Memories at the House:
Some very special events stand out in my mind. I’ll never forget when approximately 15 years ago a 20-year-old boy was visiting NYC and wanted to stop into the House where he spent so much time as a child. His face lit up when he heard the familiar voice of Andrew still calling Bingo. The 20-year-old stopped in his tracks and was so overwhelmed with hearing that same voice 15 years later! It was truly beautiful.
One night at dinner, two families, each from a different country shared a table. At that time, it was well known that these two countries were in conflict. It was amazing to watch the families share their food, while laughing and talking.
What do you miss most about not Visiting the house since quarantine began: I miss the House so much. That was one steady Wednesday night activity in my life that I have loved for over 20 years. I miss my fellow Wednesday night volunteers. All of those who work in the Volunteer Department and I truly miss all of the families. I hope this New Year brings us back safely and as soon as possible!!
Rita’s Words: “RMH brings these families together to help one another get through difficult times with understanding and kindness.”-Rita Kronovet
Article submitted by Helena Russo, Communications Volunteer.