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Volunteer Newsletter: From Our House to Yours | Issue V

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A Note to Our RMH-NY Community

A message that was shared by RMH-NY CEO Ruth Brown to our Ronald McDonald House New York family:

Dear RMH-NY Family,

I want you to hear from me today, because none of us are immune to the protests, the hurt, the injustices and the lack of respect for human life that surrounds us. Over the last three months, my communication with you has focused on the global health pandemic, and how our Ronald McDonald House New York community has had to navigate through the challenges the virus presents as an unprecedented experience in our lifetimes.

This has been a sad week for us, as we grieve the passing of our dear colleague, who we were used to interacting with daily. May she rest in peace. Our collective hearts are broken. Further, we are outraged by yet another video of an African American man brutalized and killed in front of us and our precious children. The recent events, including the repugnant actions captured by news reports of Amy Cooper in Central Park, have further exacerbated the stress and anxiety we feel about the disproportionate burden of death from COVID-19 in the African American community, and the pervasive lack of unified action regarding racial injustice and police brutality in our country.

I wish to convey respect for a hurting family, that of Mr. George Floyd. May he also rest in eternal peace. I grieve for a devastated country. I am thankful for those who have stood up for justice and accountability. I mourn the loss of life and freedom, and the infliction of injury that has resulted from the violence we are witnessing. As ever, I am fully committed to the responsibility of leadership, and I am looking across our organization to understand your potential challenges, and how each of you may feel impacted.

Now, more than ever, our collective voices and actions are needed to ensure a better future for the children we fight for every day through our service. We must forge a path that secures a positive future for all of us, and for those who will come behind us to lead at every level. What we do today will speak volumes about who we are, and how we showed up in a crisis. This will define our future.

I invite you to join me, as we commit to using our places and voices to transform the systems that undermine our collective rights to live without fear of bias and discrimination, racism and violence in this country, city, and world we hold dear. The late songstress, Nina Simone, said

“I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.”

May all of us be free of fear and live life, fully alive. I look forward to continuing this important dialogue with each of you in the coming weeks and months.

Ruth C. Browne, SD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House New York.

We Miss Our Volunteers!

Margaret (Gosia) Vogelgesang, usually volunteers at Ronald McDonald House New York as a Breakfast Club Volunteer, making breakfast for the families on Saturday mornings. Interested in continuing to support the families from home, Margaret asked her friend, a personal trainer, to teach a virtual workout class to her friends and family to help raise funds for the House. On a Sunday morning, they had 30 participants join in and were able to raised over $1,500 for RMH-NY! Thank you Margaret for taking the initiative to put this event together!

Think of your own talents or people you know in your network who may be able to lead a virtual event (ie. cooking class, DIY project, celebrity happy hour, etc.)! Then, create a Heroes Fundraising page and share the link with participants asking them to make a donation directly to your page. This is a perfect way to take action and make a difference for our families right from home. Virtual events not only help raise needed funds for the House, but also raise awareness for our mission.

Have an idea for a virtual event? Email Dani at dstarfield@rmh-newyork.org!

We need our Heroes More than Ever! With dozens of the House's fundraising events getting cancelled, all funds raised are crucial to continuing to support the families at the House during this difficult time. If you haven't already, please make a fundraising page on our website or Facebook and send out the link to your community to ask for their help.
Click here to find a list of Black-owned restaurants to support! Submitted by Sneha Ramesh, Communications Volunteer

DIY AT HOME

DIY at Home instructions & graphic created by Kelly Quane, Communications Volunteers
Visit https://www.rmh-newyork.org/events/kevinfarley to learn more and sign up! 

Create a Virtual Team Race Challenge!

While we are unable to have volunteers at the House onsite, we've created custom virtual races with Racery to engage our community. One of our incredible partners, Marsh, decided to put together a walk-a-thon with their coworkers to help support RMH-NY. Below is a statement from Margret Ditolla, Project Coordinator, regarding her experience:

“For May Volunteer Month, I wanted to come up with an idea that my department, the Insurer Consulting Group (ICG), could continue to do our part while working remotely. In speaking with Daniele Starfield, I learned about the House’s ongoing fundraising campaign, Hustle for the House. Daniele put me in touch with Donna Finney, Volunteer Manager, at Ronald McDonald House New York, and it was off to the races! Collaborating with Donna and outside consultant, Racery, we created a virtual Walk-a-Thon for our team, Bob’s ICG Incredibles! The “walk” began at Marsh’s headquarters, 1166 Avenue of the Americas, and continued throughout Manhattan stopping at our various carrier partners’ NYC offices, heading downtown to the Financial District and back to Midtown. The race was a 6-day challenge of 18.2 miles and in just 6 days, our team raised an incredible $3,025 for the House! We even had some of our clients join in on the fun and friendly competition. I highly recommend this team-building opportunity as a great way to support such a great cause, which is near and dear to my heart.”

Margret Ditolla, Project Coordinator, Insurance Consulting Group, Marsh

Interested in creating a virtual race to support the House? Reach out to dfinney@rmh-newyork.org!

Help us purchase needed items of the House by visiting our Amazon Wishlist by clicking here!

CHALLENGE YOURSELF!

Article Submitted by Kelly Chu & Graphic created by Kelly Quane, Communications Volunteers

Volunteer Spotlight

Maree Sommers & Tugboat

Volunteer: Therapy Dog Volunteers

Profession: Senior Director of Innovation Supply Chain at PepsiCo & Stay at Home Dog

Years Volunteering at the House: 2 years at RMH-NY and 4 years total at New York Therapy Animals

How you got involved: I had a friend pass along Nancy’s contact (The Founder and Director of New York Therapy Animals, RMH-NY's partnering Therapy Animal Organization) and the minute we spoke I knew this was a perfect opportunity for Tugboat and I.

Volunteer Goal: Create an enjoyable and rewarding experience for Tugboat and the Children and Families of Ronald McDonald House.

Volunteer Highlight: There are so many it is hard to pick just one, Tugboat and I always love to join the children in their nightly craft activity and we are always thrilled to have children awaiting Tugboat’s arrival every Monday Night.

What you enjoy most: Seeing the children anxiously awaiting Tugboat’s arrival and the smiles on their faces.

"RMH-NY has a friendly, inviting and supportive atmosphere. I truly enjoy the staff, other volunteers and especially the children of the House.." - Maree Sommers

Article Submitted by Helena Russo, Communications Volunteer

SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

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