Truly a rewarding experience
I retired from a large electric utility company in Southern California in July 2012. I’d had a great career in customer service and sales but I was ready for something new and different in retirement. So my husband and I packed up and moved to Austin. I was anxious to live in a smaller city, have some open space and I was also interested in meeting people, making new friends and volunteering.
I’ve had a pretty smooth life – no major health problems, raised two healthy boys, managed to stay married for thirty-five years and never lost a job or had serious financial difficulties. I knew in retirement I wanted to give back to society because my life had been so blessed. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to volunteer but I knew I wanted to do something to help people. That’s where the Ronald McDonald House came in!
I found the opportunity to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House on a website called Volunteer Match. I’d always known about the organization however I knew very little about it. I remember going to a few fund-raisers for a Ronald McDonald House in Southern California while I was working but I had never visited one or knew anyone who had stayed in one. I immediately contacted the volunteer coordinator and signed up for the next orientation.
Well, that was over three years ago and I still look forward to my Friday afternoon shift at the house every week. Many of my friends tell me I am so generous to give my time as a volunteer, but I tell them I get more out of it than anyone! It’s been a very rewarding experience to help people who are going through a tough period. I especially like the staff because they make me feel so welcome and appreciated. Plus the other volunteers are very nice people.
My duties are similar every week but it seems like there is always something new to do or learn. It’s been a great experience and I hope to continue volunteering there for many years to come.
For more information about volunteering, click here.