Families at the Ronald McDonald House benefit from home-cooked generosity.
Many students go back to their hometowns or on vacation during breaks, leaving organizations like the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown without volunteers. To fill this gap over the summer of 2017, employees of MedExpress Urgent Care of Morgantown stepped up.
Ronald McDonald House provides near-hospital housing to families with children facing life-saving medical situations. “The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown is dedicated to providing a home away from home for families of critically ill children being treated at the area’s medical facilities,” says Aqsa Naeem, volunteer coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House.
Even with housing covered, eating well during a stressful time can be challenging. MedExpress’s Meals from the Heart program organizes employee volunteers to cook meals for Ronald McDonald House families. Meals are set up buffet-style so families with varying medical schedules can eat at their convenience.
MedExpress visited the house twice last summer to take meals to the families staying there. “A lot of those families have traveled far from home and spend time that varies from several days to several weeks and even months seeking treatment for their children,” says MedExpress Community Involvement and Growth Coordinator Danin Greusel. She establishes community partnerships for MedExpress while promoting community outreach and volunteering. “Meals From the Heart gives the volunteers an opportunity to come and provide meals for them so the families do not have to worry about food.”
One of the days MedExpress visited the Ronald McDonald House was June 20, West Virginia Day. Volunteers prepared hot dogs, fruit salads, and desserts. In celebration of the state’s birthday, they also made pepperoni rolls. The MedExpress team visited again in mid-July to make breakfast for dinner, which included pancakes, French toast, an egg casserole, hash browns, and a fruit salad.
Itself a neighborhood medical provider, MedExpress does all it can to promote health and well-being in the community. “As a community health care partner, MedExpress believes very strongly in the value of programming that supports our community members,” Greusel says.
The Ronald McDonald House can benefit from other, more creative forms of support, too. MedExpress volunteers worked with The Wow! Factory, a pottery, painting, and mosaic art studio in town, to create 30 family-friendly paintings they donated to decorate the rooms for the families. “On our tour we realized a lot of the rooms didn’t have artwork on the walls, so MedExpress made the paintings to donate to them,” Greusel says.
MedExpress offers a variety of free educational outreach programs through what it calls the Teddy Bear Clinic. “All of our programs help familiarize children with health care professionals, and that might be something we look to partnering with the house on as well,” Greusel says. “MedExpress is truly proud to be a partner of our community, especially because we were established here in Morgantown, and throughout the year we will evaluate the Ronald McDonald House’s needs to see what they are looking for in a community partner.”
Morgantown MedExpress also partners with the Morgantown Public Library, Girls on the Run, the 4-H Club, the Lacrosse League, and the Morgantown Board of Education. “We really enjoy supporting a variety of different partnerships around town, all like-minded organizations with the value of improving our community together,” Greusel says.
“MedExpress volunteers, just like our other volunteers, were greatly appreciated—their efforts and time meant the world to us,” Naeem says. “It’s volunteers like them who keep this house afloat and we appreciate our volunteers and everything they do.”
Consider a donation of meals, money, or time to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown this holiday season. 841 Country Club Drive, 304.598.0050, rmhcmorgantown.org
written by KRISTEN UPPERCUE