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Volunteer Newsletter: From Our House to Yours | Issue IV

While we are unable to have volunteers at Ronald McDonald House New York due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we've put together this newsletter to keep our community engaged, supported and connected. We hope you enjoy it, from our House to yours!

Families have been hanging signs outside of their rooms, to thank our staff and community for keeping the House open and caring for them amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

We Miss You!

Visit https://www.rmh-newyork.org/events/mini to learn more and sign up!

#BlanketFortChallenge

If I can do it, so can you!

Looking for a family-friendly activity for this weekend? Blanket forts bring joy, imagination, and memories. Plus @TheCompanyStore is donating $10 to @RMHNewYork for every post of a blanket fort that tags #BlanketFortChallenge through the end of June. So grab your kids, pillows, blankets and pets and get building!

Often behind the camera and putting together our Newsletter, we wanted to tell you a little more about our Communications Volunteers!

Get To Know Us!

Submitted by Leslie Fradkin, Communications Volunteer
Visit https://www.rmh-newyork.org/events/kevinfarley to learn more and sign up! 

Ask your Community to Support the House

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.

Learn a New Language

If you and your kids are interested in picking up a new language during the summer here are some great resources that you should know about:

  • Scratch: Don’t be fooled – coding is a language! Scratch is a programming site for kids (ages 8-16) where you can create stories, animations, and games. Click “Create” in the upper toolbar on their site and start creating! You can join by creating a username and password to save your projects for free.
  • CheckiO: If you are interested in learning beginner coding in Python or TypeScript (close to Java Script), I recommend the platform CheckiO (recommended for high school and up). This is a very fun and clever platform combining computer gaming and coding in one! It starts with the basics and can get pretty advanced. It is free, just sign up to start playing/coding!
  • Duolingo: While it is already well known, Duolingo is a fantastic resource for learning languages. With 30+ languages to choose from, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, and Russian, there is no limit to what you can learn. This is an app based resource that works great on your phone (check the app store) and is built for all ages.
  • Rosetta Stone is an original, but also a great resource for learning languages. Right now they are giving a free 3 month trial for parents or guardians of K-12 students who attend a school that is currently closed due to COVID-19 or are homeschooled! There are over 20 languages available.

Article submitted by Andrea Boitnott, Communications Volunteer

Interested in creating a virtual race for your company, friends or family? Create a Race challenge to help benefit RMH-NY. Email Donna Finney at dfinney@rmh-newyork.org for more details!

DIY AT HOME

All Natural Body Scrub instructions by Shawna Salinger & graphic created by Kelly Quane, Communications Volunteers

May is Mental Health Month!

Now, more than ever, it is important to check in with your mental health (as well as your loved ones) as social distancing continues. Here are a few FREE helpful resources to get you started:

  1. Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditation and stress management classes to increase your mindfulness and help you become more aware of your mental health. Right now, Headspace is offering extended sessions for its free membership and a free one-year premium membership for anyone who has been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic. https://www.headspace.com/unemployed
  2. Equinox offers lots of free live workout classes on Instagram Live including guided meditation sessions led by instructors! Check out their saved videos on IGTV to listen to past sessions. https://www.instagram.com/equinox/?hl=en
  3. Headstands and Heels, a wellness blogger based in Brooklyn, NY, is offering a free 10-day mental wellness journal. The journal includes prompts ranging from positive affirmations to self-care activities to do at home! https://www.headstandsandheels.com/
  4. Jackbox offers virtual games that are perfect for a game night over video chat. Use these virtual gatherings as a way to check in with family and friends who may be feeling more isolated during this pandemic. Jackbox party packs are affordable (Less than $20 one-time purchase) ways to maintain contact with loved ones while participating in light-hearted fun to distract from any negative news. https://jackbox.tv

Article Submitted by Kelly Chu, Communications Volunteer

Volunteer Spotlight

Nicole Aloupis

Volunteer: Sunday Night Greeter

Profession: Beauty Marketer

Years Volunteering at the House: 1

How you got involved: I’ve lived in the Upper East Side for seven years and never knew the House was nearby until I moved around the corner (literally!). I would often see the families out an about in the neighborhood and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my time helping out.

Volunteer Goal: I hope that I make every family feel welcome and more at ease when they enter the house. I am usually the first person they see when they come in, so I hope that my smile puts a smile on their faces.

Volunteer Highlight: I love it when I am able to help a parent with something neighborhood related, whether it’s finding a restaurant nearby or a park they and their family can go take a walk in. It’s also fun when I get to play with young kids while their parents are checking in. The games their little minds come up with can be very entertaining.

What you enjoy most: I love being a friendly face to families. A smile can instantly elevate someone’s mood, so I hope that when they see me and say hello it helps them breathe a little easier, even if only for a few minutes.

"I feel thankful to be a part of such an amazing place that does so much good. The staff, other volunteers and families are beyond special. I am constantly impressed with everyone that walks through the front doors by their strength, kindness, and humility." - Nicole Aloupis

Article Submitted by Helena Russo, Communications Volunteer

Send in book recommendations for our next Newsletter by emailing dstarfield@rmh-newyork.org

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Thank you to our Communications Volunteers for their support in collecting content for our Newsletter!

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