April is National Volunteer Month! We rely on the support of hundreds of volunteers to help us fulfill our mission of keeping families close while their child receives medical care. Throughout this month we will be featuring many of our dedicated volunteers and sharing their stories about why they choose to volunteer for us!
Our first featured volunteer is Shelley Ebener, who has volunteered at the Springfield House for the last several years.
Upon my retirement three years ago, I knew I still had useful skills and would be looking at volunteering.
Almost thirty-three years ago my younger son was born 14 weeks prematurely. Living in Chatham, we did not need to use the services of the Springfield Ronald McDonald House, but we saw firsthand the importance of the house for families from outside the area. It was such a comfort for those needing a place to stay. When that same son was in our church youth group, the group would would be guest chefs and he would reassure parents that good things happen in the NICU and provide support to the families, as well as living proof of the success possible.
Because of these two experiences the Ronald McDonald House was the first place I looked to volunteer. Seeing the needs of the families and the importance of having a clean, safe home away from home, I know I made a good choice in volunteering.
I have also enlisted the support of friends from the Friends of Chatham Pickleball club to assist at the house as well. They have helped with organizing the pantry, being guest chefs, and most recently providing a dinner (with the assistance of Bella Milano Springfield and the Apple Barn Chatham Illinois) during shelter in place .