Since its opening in 1986, the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island has accommodated more than 16,000 families while their loved one receives care at next door or other nearby hospitals.
Volunteers play a vital role as the “heartbeat of the House,” by sharing their time to help other people. Program and Volunteer Coordinator Betti McClellan says there are several ways volunteers can make a difference.
To be considered, all prospective volunteers need to fill out an application. A person’s schedule, his or her interests, skills and availability will depend on where they will be placed.
- Front Desk Volunteers take on different responsibilities ranging from welcoming new residents and making sure visitors have passes to escorting a new family to their room or getting detergent for a family. McClellan says it is these simple tasks that make a big difference for the residents at the House.
- If you want to volunteer but can't commit to a regular schedule, another way to help is by participating in the Dinner Program. Different groups of people, families and restaurants share their time and culinary creativity by preparing a dinner at the house for the familiesr. Volunteers are always welcome to pick a night and bring their recipes.
- Little Hands Helping Little Hands is a program for youngsters under the age of 16 who want to help out. Once they get a tour of the house, they are encouraged to come back in small groups and bake desserts for the families at the House. In the past, Girl and Boy Scouts, parents and grandparents have taken part in this type of hands-on volunteering. It is a wonderful way to teach young children about helping others in a fun way.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or want to find out other ways to help, contact Betti McClellan at (516) 775-5683 x131.
Hours: Varies for each volunteer
Check back next week for suggestion #74.