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One of My Favourite Things!

One of My Favourite Things!

Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House has been one of my favourite things to do since I started in the summer of 2014. I have been involved in the kitchen facilitating baking groups and even organized my own dinner and weekend café volunteer groups. I 'm always trying to spread the word and get others involved. It feels good knowing that taking a few hours a week out of my schedule to slow down for a moment can help others in a big way.

I love all things Disney and have an obsession with dogs (an extra weakness for Golden Retrievers and French Bulldogs) so I also help with the Pet Therapy program through the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs. The Pet Therapy program is special - It is a time where families can feel a lot of emotions and you can tell it’s a relief for them to be able to talk, or not talk, and just enjoy the moment.

I am currently a full-time student at Western University in London and originally chose RMH to volunteer my time after I learned about the Family Room in the hospital.  I thought this volunteer experience would be a good way to give back and be involved in my community. The families that utilize the services at RMHC-SWO are going through a life-changing experience by having a sick child, that it feels so meaningful to be a part of something so unique.

A moment that I still hold close was when a mother at the House asked to get ready for her wedding – the couple was getting married in the hospital chapel while their daughter received medical care. She just asked if they could use the space, but the staff member wanted to surprise the family with something special. I offered to help and the next day we worked together to transform the room with decorations making it feel like a true escape from the busy craft room. This was meaningful to me, to find a way to go above and beyond to make someone else’s day as wonderful as it could be. It was so meaningful to be a part of something like that!

If you‘re thinking about volunteering, I say do it! There are a variety of roles to be involved in so you can find an area you’re passionate about. Reflecting on my experience, I can say I have been able to grow both in my volunteer role, and in my personal life. I have been able to develop more confidence, meet new people, and spread the word about this organization.

Thanks for reading!
Laura

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