Thursday, 08 May 2014 00:00
One of the best experiences I’ve had while volunteering was on a visit to Ronald McDonald house. I honestly enjoy doing Ronald McDonald service because it’s really a lot of fun cooking with your friends, and it’s a such a rewarding thing to do. Getting Mineola teacher Nancy Regan’s meatloaf recipe is just the icing on the cake!
Of course, at the end of the day you go home reeking of spices, and sometimes you swear your hands faintly smell like onions even days later. Deep down, you love these subtle reminders of the time and effort you donated. They are the proof that you made a difference in someone’s life, and it is hard to find the words to describe such an experience. I am reminded of the quote by John Bunyan, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Previously, I had done other volunteer services along with Ronald McDonald, and I was not new to the program. We had some downtime and we were offered a tour of the house. This sweet elderly woman took us around parts of the house, and you could tell she was extremely fond of the charity and our program at Mineola. She told us about some of the families that were currently staying at the house, and their particular situations. It is sufficient to say that it put a perspective on things, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that was reminded of how blessed we truly are. The conversation continued on to discuss what a great thing it is that we’re doing. She didn’t think we really knew what a significant contribution it was to volunteer in this program. She was right.
I couldn’t fathom what a tough time these families must be going through. I didn’t think about what it would feel like to not have enough money to buy food. With that in mind, just imagine what it could feel like to know that you didn’t have to worry about feeding your family during such hard times, because there was a hot, free meal downstairs. Then, you realize that you did that for someone. For a stranger. Someone you’ve never met before, and probably never will. For that day, you were there for them. That taught me what service is about.