When you volunteer at Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo, you make it possible for families who stay here to concentrate on their first priority: their sick child.
The Ronald McDonald House has 15 bedrooms and can accommodate 45 people each day (not counting babies in cribs!). A household of 45 (or more) needs lots of tender loving care every day to keep it tidy, safe and cheerful.
The House depends on volunteers to make it feel like a home-away-from-home for families with sick children.
When would I help out?
We especially need volunteers during the week. Call 883-1177 to find a time that fits your schedule.
You decide how much time you can devote. Some people volunteer once a year and others volunteer several hours every week.
What would I do?
As a volunteer, you might:
- Drive the van. You can transport family members to and from the hospital.
- Answer phones. We will give you the training you need to be able to handle the phones, take reservations and check people in. We do ask that volunteers who handle the phones commit to two four-hour shifts per month.
- Tidy the play room and clean the toys. Since we have so many children who use the play room, including some children who are especially vulnerable to illnesses because of their weakened health, we need to wipe off the toys often to help prevent the spread of colds and other illnesses.
- Ready the kitchen for the next meal or snack. In your own home, if you’ve ever found a dirty glass in the sink five minutes after you finished the dishes, you know how hard it is to keep a kitchen clean. Imagine what it would be like if 45 people lived in your house! The help we need in the kitchen includes loading and emptying the dishwasher, brushing crumbs from the toaster, cleaning the microwave, wiping spills in the refrigerator, and sorting and organizing drawers that have become jumbled with so many different people using utensils.
- Keep the House clean and pleasant. Our House is a refuge for families whose children are being treated at local hospitals, so we want it be tidy and welcoming. Tasks include dusting, vacuuming, making beds and folding clean laundry.
- “Deep cleaning.” In your home, you probably do big cleaning jobs just during spring cleaning, but with so many people staying at the Ronald McDonald House, we need to tackle those spring cleaning jobs every few weeks. These tasks include cleaning handprints off doors, wiping down woodwork, cleaning door knobs and door pulls, washing windows and dusting blinds.
- Help families who are celebrating holidays far from home. We need people who would like to coordinate the activities for a particular holiday, as well as people who would like to help carry out the tasks for the festivities. For example, a volunteer might coordinate activities for Easter, making sure that there is a holiday meal prepared, that the House is decorated in a festive way and that families receive any items that may have been donated for that holiday. Other volunteers would carry out those tasks, such as creating a centerpiece, hanging decorations or preparing the meal.
- Adopt a Room. When it comes to wear and tear, the rooms in the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo are more like hotel rooms than ordinary bedrooms at home. We have so many people who stay with us, we have to replace the furniture and redo the bedrooms every few years.
We’re grateful to companies and groups who take on the colossal task of adopting a room and refurbishing it, top to bottom. It’s a large project in terms of time and expense, and it’s one of the important things that keep the House safe and comfortable for our families who have to travel to Buffalo to get treatment for their sick children.
When a group adopts a room, they:
- Come up with a theme for the room
- Create the plan
- Do work such as repairing plaster, painting the walls, ceiling and woodwork
- Buy new furniture including beds, , tables, chairs and dressers
- Buy new accessories such as window treatments, lamps and decorative furnishings such as mirrors and pictures
It’s a great project for a large group of talented and creative people with resources. It generally costs about $3,000 for a room adoption.
If you think this might be an exciting project for you, please call (716) 883-1177.