Inside the Houses is a monthly online feature written by RMHC staff – sharing special moments from the Ronald McDonald House. Lisa Queisert, Data and Administrative Specialist, contributes this months column.
When I was a very new member of staff, I was given the task of finding a home for a stuffed koala bear here at the East House.
The bear was impossibly cute and I couldn’t wait to give it away. What fun! However, dispensing this gift proved to be much more difficult than I anticipated. Many of the guests I ran into were groups of siblings, so I couldn’t single out one child and leave others out. The next few guests I saw were teenagers and, while tempting, I was reticent about their reaction. Would they think I was giving them a toy meant for a child?
So, the bear sat in my cubicle, collecting dust. One day, I was on my way out of the office and saw a family who appeared to be having a difficult day. I don’t know the situation since the conversation with the House staff was in Spanish. But the child, a girl about four years-old, dressed in pink with pigtails smiled brightly at me despite the chaos around her. I knew my search was over. I quickly retrieved the bear and brought it to her. I asked her if she would like the bear, not knowing if she would understand English, but it didn’t matter; she immediately embraced the bear and smiled. It was a moment that I will always remember.
As an employee who works in the administrative office, I don’t have as much opportunity to interact with the families as I would like. However, through my small act of giving a bear to a child, I got a real sense of the caring that is the essence of RMHC.