Community Voices is a monthly feature giving volunteers and supporters a chance to reflect and share about their experiences at RMHC. This month, volunteer Patti Jo Gossett shares her involvement, which began at the start of RMHC.
Originally I became involved with Ronald McDonald House because my co-worker’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. She was involved with Children’s Oncology of Oregon which became Ronald McDonald House.
I volunteered at the West House opening and sporadically for the next several years. My goal was to be a volunteer at RMHC when I retired. In December of 1999 I became a volunteer at the East House writing thank you notes, which I still do. Keeping in touch with our contributors is important and to keep them appraised of the happenings at the Houses. I also do filing in the office.
Eight years ago this month a couple from Central California were here in Portland to attend a convention. The wife was pregnant and while here she went into premature labor. The baby boy she delivered weighed only one pound five ounces. He stayed in Neonatal Intensive Care until the first part of December of 2004 and the mother stayed at the East House.
They returned home when he weighed a little over five pounds. This family has returned to RMHC to celebrate his birthday every other July. It is wonderful to see how he is growing and to see his parents.
When I volunteer here I always go home with much more than I give.
Patti Jo Gossett