April 27, 2011

Take me out to the ball game!

Yesterday, we celebrated our three wonderful Wake Forest University interns with a trip to watch the Winston-Salem Dash take on the Frederick Keys! Thanks to our friends at Southern Community Bank and Trust, we were able to enjoy a fun afternoon in the super nice Southern Community Suite at the ballpark.

We didn't let the torrential downpour at the bottom of the 6th spoil the fun. (We are definitely not fair weather Dash fans-- not even a tornado watch will keep us from rooting on the home team!)

The rain break turned out to be the perfect opportunity to give each of our interns their cute new RMH tote bag.

It was a fantastic send off and we are so appreciative to Southern Community Bank and Trust and the Winston-Salem Dash for such a fun experience!

Now a bit about these three hard working ladies...

Lisa Northrop interned with us the longest, joining the RMH team four years ago as a freshman. In that time she has become an important part of our Friends of the Ronald McDonald House program, working with Friends Members and Development Coordinator, Nancy Spaugh, to raise money for the House. Lisa's dedication to volunteerism was recognized last year by North Carolina Governor Beverley Purdue when she was named winner of the Community Impact Student Award. She will continue her work in the non-profit world after graduation next week when she joins the staff of another local charity. We are glad she'll be nearby but will miss seeing her around the House!

Rachel Wilson has been a member of the RMH team for three years and worked closely with our Director of House Operations. Honestly, there are days when we really don't know what we would have done without her! She was truly indispensable during the construction of our most recent 18 bedroom expansion and knows the Ronald McDonald House from top to bottom, inside and out! Rachel has been our go to with questions about the expansion and new space... all 18,000 sqft of it! We will miss her when she graduates from Wake Forest next week and moves on to pursue a career in medicine. But, we know she has a bright future ahead!

Taylor Brown came on board in September 2010 and quickly endeared herself to staff and families with her sweet personality and sense of humor. As a founding member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority at Wake Forest, she was already very familiar with the mission of the Ronald McDonald House before interning at the House. She proved to be a tremendous help to us here in the development office, working with Development Director, Mindy Bloom, and yours truly to organize events, coordinate Sport a Shirt, Share a Night and thank RMH supporters. She moves to Philadelphia to begin her career in corporate Human Resources after graduation and while we are really proud of her, we hate to see her go!

Congratulations Lisa, Rachel and Taylor on your graduation from Wake Forest, we are so proud of you!


April 26, 2011

Celebrating Three Generations of Volunteering

Morgan Christian was 12 when she decided she wanted to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem. Since she wasn’t quite old enough to help out at the House on her own, she recruited her “naana”, Carolyn Blakley, to volunteer with her.

Now, six years later, five members of the Christian-Blakley family serve families as volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. Morgan’s cousin, Chase, followed in her footsteps beginning in 2008, accompanying Carolyn to the House to help with chores and assist families. Her mom, Kim, joined the RMH volunteer team in 2009 and her youngest cousin Gracyn began volunteering last year.

Dallas and Carolyn with their grandchildren, Gracyn (12), Chase (16), Kelsi (14) and Morgan (18)

At some point during each week over the last six years, at least one member of the Christian-Blakley family has folded laundry in the RMH laundry room, stocked the kitchen cabinets or checked a guest room ahead of a new family arrival. After countless hours of volunteering at the House, Carolyn says that it is the seemingly little tasks that really keep the House going.

Carolyn, who also volunteers in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Forsyth Medical Center twice a month, says the entire family has been touched by their time spent helping families at the House. “As a family, we do enjoy coming together, doing something good, something positive.”

The Ronald McDonald House couldn't operate without the support of volunteers like Carolyn, Kim, Morgan, Gracyn and Chase. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, visit our website to learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of RMH families.


April 21, 2011

The House is Hoppin

Spring has sprung here at the Ronald McDonald House, just in time for Easter! The Easter Bunny will be definitely be impressed when he hops through RMH this weekend. Thanks to our volunteers (and a little help from Mother Nature) the House has been transformed inside and out. I think you'll agree that it looks egg-cellent!

Zacharee shows off the Easter wreath he made during Arts & Crafts with Shari

House Volunteer Julia Shively greets families at our reception desk

Easter egg trees and handmade cards decorate the dining room

Families enjoy the noise from our fountain on the porch

Bekka came disguised as the Easter Bunny to pet therapy this week

Almost too pretty to eat! This giant Easter basket was made for families by volunteer Dinah Reece


April 15, 2011

It's Here!!!

It's "Sport a Shirt, Share a Night" Day! People all over are sporting their tee shirts in support for the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem and the families who stay here.

Not only do we have thousands sporting shirts here in North Carolina but supporters are joining in all over the country-- from sea to shining sea!

So I want to know, where are you sporting your Sport a Shirt today? At work? In the backyard? At the beach? At a baseball game? At school? Send me a pic! I'll post pictures of supporters sporting their shirts as I get them. You can email me your pictures at LauraW@rmhwinstonsalem.org or post them to our facebook page. Happy Sporting!