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2016 VOLUNTEER ACCOLADES

2016 Volunteer of the Year: Joanne Hansen

 

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Joanne Hansen has volunteered inside our RMHH at TCH location since July 2007 and has graciously served for over 2,253 hours volunteering for double shifts every Monday of the month! Joanne’s commitment began earlier than 2007 though. Joanne was an attendee and supporter of the very first Ronald McDonald House Houston grand opening event in 1981. As a result of her friendship with founder, Dr. Donald Fernbach, she grew to understand the mission and took part in very early fundraising efforts to provide families traveling to Houston a home away from home while they battled pediatric illness. It is because of Joanne’s commitment, that we are proud to say RMH Houston continues to be a respite for the many families that we serve.

 

Inside our RMHH at TCH location, Joanne was widely known as the “sweet treats lady” as she would often bring in baked goods to offer families. As time and guidelines have changed, so has Joanne’s ability to deliver sweet treats but she never misses an opportunity to offer her sweet spirit and compassion to many of these same families. Over the years, Joanne’s been able to watch children grow, share stories of hope and become an adopted family member to the many families that seek solace in our Family Rooms throughout the Texas Children’s Hospital. Additionally, she provides much needed support to RMH Houston staff by performing weekly inventories and tasks that ensure that all of RMH Houston’s special touches are widely available to the families served.

 

It is because of this dedication that RMH Houston is honored to call Joanne a friend and our 2016 Volunteer of the Year!


2016 Volunteers of the Month

December 2016

Ashley Johnston is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for December 2016. Ashley began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in January 2016 and has completed over 65 hours of service. Ashley is such a sweet and loving volunteer. When she comes in she’s always smiling and ready to assist the families in any possible way. Ashley’s shift is on Friday during “pizza night”. She will take initiative and get things ready for when the pizza arrives. Once we are ready to serve she does it with a great smile and a wonderful attitude. Ashley is an amazing volunteer!

Norma Martinez is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for December 2016. Norma began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in April 2013 and has completed over 150 hours of service. Norma is incredible! She is super reliable and is always here for her shift. In addition to being patient and compassionate with the families, she also helps us in every way she can and is ready to assist with anything we need. She has cross-trained for every family room at TCH so she can support us wherever we have the greatest need. Norma encourages her office to donate to Ronald McDonald House, and she is always bringing in generous donations from her coworkers. And recently, Norma was even chosen to be star of a new volunteer training video! We so appreciate Norma’s professionalism, kindness, and dedication to RMH!

Kathryn Kinson is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for December 2016. Kristin began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in March 2016 and has completed over 46 hours of service. Kathyrn is a wonderful volunteer with a great attitude. She has been volunteering since March and faithfully does both of her shifts every month and sometimes picks up and extra! She loves our families and serves them well through her volunteer service at RMH at CMHH! We are so grateful to have her!

Mariya Pavlyukh is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for December 2016. Mariya began volunteering with RMH Houston in January 2014 and has completed over 153 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Mariya volunteers with a bright smile and a servant’s heart. Mariya is a hard work and always goes “above and beyond” on any task she is given. A native of Ukraine, Mariya is a HUGE help to our Russian speaking guests by assisting with translation services as going out of her way to make them feel comfortable in their home away from home. Additionally, she is always willing and able to pick up a substitute shift whenever our Operations Team needs some extra help. It is for these reasons, and many more, that we are excited to recognize Mariya Pavlyukh as the December 2016 Volunteer of the Month!

November 2016

Barbara Caracciolo is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for November 2016. Barbara began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in August 2013 and has completed over 162 hours of service. Barbara is one of the most amazing volunteers, whose demeanor and upbeat personality have been instrumental in lifting the spirits of many parents throughout the year. On this past Monday, the hospital had a Memorial Service in honor of the children that have left us; before the Memorial, we had at least three parents come up and ask about Barbara and Al. Those same parents expressed how Barbara’s smile, hugs, big heart – how all of those traits and all that love from Barbara carried them through some of the most difficult times at MD Anderson. One of the moms specifically recalled that once, she was out in the hallway, trying to find a place where she could freely cry (right outside our kitchen) and how Barbara happened to walk by. She said Barbara went inside the kitchen, picked up a box of Kleenex and walk right back over to her, handed her the Kleenex, took her by the hand and walked her over to our overnight rooms and let her sit there and cry! Mom voiced that she felt so understood. Minimal words were exchanged as no words were needed. Mom said that she must have sat there for over 30 minutes, just weeping and releasing all the hurt that was in her soul. This mom wanted me to please let Barbara know that what she did for her that day, did not go unnoticed, in fact, she will remember it in her heart forever. Our volunteers are all so amazing and giving, Barbara’s actions (all the time) are a beautiful testament to that!

Maria Salazar is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for November 2016. Maria began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in February 2013 and has completed over 171 hours of service. Maria is extremely flexible, compassionate and loves children. Maria helps us in our family rooms and the house, willing to do anything needed to make our families feel at home. She always comes in with a smile on her face and a cheerful attitude! Thank you Maria for your caring and generous spirit!

Kristin Schrag is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for November 2016. Kristin began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in March 2016 and has completed over 44 hours of service. Kristin is a very hardworking and positive volunteer. She always shows up for her shift, and is willing to do whatever is needed to help out. She works well with other volunteers, RMH Houston staff, and CMHH staff. We are so grateful to have her on our team!

Lori Alaniz is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for November 2016. Lori began volunteering with RMH Houston in April 2015 and has completed over 165 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Lori began volunteering at our Holcombe Holcombe as a substitute volunteer. Lori always arrived for her shift ahead of schedule eager to complete any task asked of her. After becoming oriented to the House and duties, Lori would call in to see if help was needed when she was available. Lori soon accepted a regular shift, when a vacant spot opened up on Tuesday evenings from 6-9, and at the same time agreed to sign up to assist the Family Activities Coordinator with dinner groups, and activities outside of her now normal shift. Lori is always smiling and willing to help the families here at the house. Lori is definitely a joy to have on the volunteer schedule and helpful with any and all duties asked of her during her shifts. It is because of these and many other reasons that we are happy to name Lori Alaniz as Holcombe House’s Volunteer of the Month for November.

October 2016

Amber Ross is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for October 2016. Amber began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in January 2016 and has completed over 40 hours of service. Amber is simply amazing to the 10th power! Although Amber has not been with our organization long, she is probably one of the patient’s favorite volunteer. Amber is the type of person that will sit on the floor with the patients, that will walk from one end of the hospital to the other, just to get some iced water for a patient that cannot leave his/her room and the type of person that loves to make the kids laugh! The kids call her Cookie- Amber because she bakes cookies and hand-delivers them to the rooms of the kids that are unable to visit the kitchen. Amber has a full time job, owns her own business and still, makes time to come and volunteer at RMFR, there have been times when she has worked as late as 12 midnight the night before volunteering and you would never know it (if not for conversing with her) because her demeanor is always the same- happy, cheerful, giving and providing a listening ear for the parents! We appreciate you, Amber!

Nelda Womack is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for October 2016. Nelda began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in October 2014 and has completed over 152 hours of service. In addition to being a member of the Friends of RMHH who bring brunch to our hospital programs, a member of the RMHH Operations Committee AND Advisory Board, Nelda is a treasured member of the volunteer team at Ronald McDonald House at Texas Children’s Hospital. Nelda takes a “white glove” attitude when it comes to ensuring our House and Family Rooms are organized, neat, sanitary and welcoming for our families. Her loving, compassionate nature makes her a perfect fit for listening to parents when they need a sympathetic listener. We are truly blessed to have Nelda here and are so happy to honor her as October Volunteer of the Month!

Doug Villaescusa is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for October 2016. Doug began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in June 2015 and has completed over 43 hours of service. Doug is an excellent volunteer! He is a very hard worker and kind to everyone he interacts with. Doug is always able to find lots to do to stay busy! Even if it appears that all the tasks have been completed, he is able to find something to do – even scrubbing the refrigerators clean! We are so grateful to have him on our team!

Susan Glover is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for October 2016. Susan began volunteering with RMH Houston in April 2001 and has completed over 394 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Susan has been coming every month for the past 15 years to help prepare and serve a wonderful hot meal to our families. These meals mean so much to the families that call our House their home away from home and even more when they are served with a loving smile like Susan’s. We are proud this month to recognize Susan’s many years of service at the Holcombe House.

September 2016

Vera Burrell is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for September 2016. Vera began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in December 2015 and has completed over 52 hours of service. Vera volunteers on a weekly basis. Her smile lights up the room even before you enter it. Her loving, patient and happy demeanor are very endearing to the families that when Vera can’t come to volunteer, people ask (all morning) about her. Vera is such a hard worker that the kitchen is nothing less than spotless during her shift, she always goes above and beyond. It is certainly an honor to have Vera be a part of the RMFR team and an honor to nominate her for the Volunteer of the Month! Go Vera!!!

Gary Paulson is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for September 2016. Gary began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in August 2008 and has completed over 277 hours of service. Gary Paulson is a stellar volunteer! He has been volunteering with us for more than 8 years, and he is a true asset to our team. Gary is incredibly dependable and is always here for us whenever we need him. His knowledge of RMHH and expertise with the TCH House has made him one of our best volunteers, and he is always happy to cheerfully share his knowledge with new families while welcoming them to RMHH. Gary’s dedication to our mission, willingness to help, and compassion for our families make him a volunteer that we are proud to nominate for Volunteer of the Month.

Freda Malazdrewicz is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for September 2016. Freda began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in May 2016 and has completed over 56 hours of service. Freda is a faithful and wonderful volunteer who comes every week to CMHH! She is often early and usually stays late. Freda has the most positive attitude and is always willing to do anything we ask of her with a smile. She works hard from the moment she walks in the door until she leaves and stays busy the entire 3 hours. She is kind to our families, CMHH staff and RMH staff. We are so very grateful to have her on our team!

Jill Criep is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for September 2016. Jill began volunteering with RMH Houston in June 2014 and has completed over 158 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Jill has been a faithful substitute volunteer over the past two years until a couple months ago when she saw our great need and stepped up to be a regular volunteer EVERY Friday morning for us. She has also volunteered her certified massage services several times to our families during special events like our 5 Star Day. Jill brings an outgoing and bubbly personality to everything that she does for the House. Jill just makes you want to smile every time you talk to her. It is because of these and a list that is too long to type out that Jill Criep is our Friday morning “Barbie” volunteer and our August Volunteer of the Month!

August 2016

Michelle Do is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for August 2016. Michelle began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in October 2015 and has completed over 40 hours of service. Michelle has the most fantastic sense of service towards our patients and their families. This young lady is always being complimented (by the patients, parents and staff) for her welcoming smile and the kindness with which she treats others. I have observed her folding clothes for a mom as the mom was so overwhelmingly exhausted that she was just standing in the laundry room in a daze. Michelle is the type of person that will hold the door open for our patients/families even when the door is automatic- her logic? “that’s the least I can do!” We appreciate Michelle so much and am grateful for her choosing us to volunteer for!

Marilyn Watson is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for August 2016. Marilyn began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in December 2014 and has completed over 140 hours of service. Not only does Marilyn volunteer on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays on the 12pm-3pm shift, she also comes to our rescue by picking up extra shifts. We look forward to seeing Marilyn with her cheerful and upbeat attitude; she always approaches the day with a smile. Marilyn is extremely conscientious and detail oriented and has a wonderful demeanor when speaking with families. Thank you Marilyn for all you do to make the TCH Hospital Program a success!!!

Hayley Hemstreet is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for August 2016. Hayley began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in November 2015 and has completed over 39 hours of service. Hayley has been an AMAZING volunteer. She’s proven herself to be extremely dedicated to RMH, and she’s unfailingly kind and compassionate with our families. She works very hard during her shift, and cheerfully helps with anything we need. Hayley is great at working the evening shift and always leaves the lounges well-stocked and clean, ready for the next morning. She’s a wonderful team player and works very well with the other volunteer on her shift. We’re thrilled that she’s a part of the RMH at CMHH team!

Gay Lawton is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for August 2016. Gay began volunteering with RMH Houston in December 2010 and has completed over 169 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Gay has been volunteering for over 6 years and is very faithful in her monthly service to the families that call our house, their home away from home. As a member of the Houston Junior Woman’s Club, Gay assists in serving delicious meals for the families of the Holcombe House. Gay is always looking for new ways to serve the House and in 2014 she went above and beyond by serving as the Santa Store Co-Chair. It is because of these reasons and so many more, that we recognize Gay as our Volunteer of the Month for July.

July 2016

Patricia Soto is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for July 2016. Patricia began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in April 2015 and has completed over 61 hours of service. Patricia is an awesome volunteer. When her school scheduled changed she was determined to continue her commitment with RMH and became a Subtitute Volunteer. Patricia takes initiative during her shift and starts working right away. If anything happens to be missing or unorganized she will fix it. She always smiles and welcomes the families when they enter our RMH areas. Patricia enjoys baking and delivering cookies the families. We appreciate you, Patricia!

Johnetta Lang (JD) is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for July 2016. Johnetta began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in May 2013 and has completed over 165 hours of service. Johnetta is very reliable, taking on every task and ready to do more. JD always greets families with a warm welcoming smile. It is obvious she enjoys volunteering at RMHH at TCH. Thank you JD for being an AWESOME volunteer!!! We appreciate you!

Carrie Cazes is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for July 2016. Carrie began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in February 2015 and has completed over 37 hours of service. Carrie has proven to be such a dedicated volunteer! She asks a lot of questions and makes sure she has a clear understanding of how she can best support the families and the RMH program. Carrie also frequently picks up sub shifts for us when needed, which is much appreciated! She’s always smiling and helpful, and she’s very compassionate and welcoming to the families. We’re so happy that Carrie is part of our team!

Ruth Fletcher is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for July 2016. Ruth began volunteering with RMH Houston in June 2014 and has completed over 167 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Ruth walks in the door with a smile on her face and her fun personality beaming out. She is always a joy to work with and takes on any task that needs to be completed. Ruth is quick to meet the needs of our families or find the person that can help them. It is because of these, and so many more reasons, that we are pleased to have Ruth as our Volunteer of the Month!

June 2016

Lauren Selwyn is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for June 2016. Lauren began volunteering at Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in June 2015 and has completed over 48 hours of service. Lauren comes to us from Junior League of Houston and has been an amazing asset from the beginning. She is a self-starter, always taking initiative in making sure the kitchen is always presentable. All of the families receive excellent customer service from Lauren. Thank you Lauren for the time you give serving our families!

William “Bill” Voss is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for June 2016. Bill began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in October 2014 and has completed over 161 hours of service. The team shares that Bill has a wonderful spirit and is always willing to assist a family in whatever way he can. He often donates items to the house that he thinks will make the staff’s job easier in caring for our families. Just last week, during one of our rainiest days where it had to be challenging out on the roads, Bill shows up with a smile on his face. Nothing will stop him from helping out at RMHH at TCH. This is one of the best attitudes to have when you’re showing compassion and love to our families. Thank you, Bill for always going above and beyond!

Monica Barerra is the RMH Houston at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for June 2016. Monica began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in June 2015 and has completed over 61 hours of service. Monica is a great volunteer who is very dependable and willing to help whenever needed. She volunteers on Saturday mornings, but often will thoughtfully call and see if she’s needed more for another shift. Monica is happy to substitute for a different time if we need support at a particular time. She’s a hard worker, and a very kind person – she’s wonderful to have around!

Melanie Branch is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for June 2016. Melanie began volunteering with RMH Houston in December 2012 and has completed over 175 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. Melanie is a delight to have as a volunteer and is always willing to assist the families any way she can. Melanie recently accepted the role of “peer trainer” – training new volunteers as they come onboard. Melanie provides a thorough training and it is our hope that our new volunteers mimic her compassion and work ethic during their shifts. Congratulation Melanie on being our June 2016 Volunteer of the Month!

May 2016

Kimberly Vega is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for May 2016. Kimberly began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in October 2015 and has completed over 46 hours of service. Kimberly has the biggest smile you have ever seen, and she lights up a room with it! One of the parents affectionally named her Howdy Doody because of that smile. This young lady has so much energy that she works from the moment she arrives until the moment she leaves. Her overall demeanor is conducive to an environment that makes the patients and the parents feel special. Amazing young lady!

Katie Cage is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for May 2016. Katie began volunteering at Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in October 2014 and has completed over 154 hours of service. Katie is always willing to do what is necessary to make the families feel welcomed. Katie is cross-trained in the Family Rooms and often steps in to make sure the rooms are cleaned and stocked for the patients and their families. During her busy shift, Katie finds the time to bake cookies for the families in the House and makes enough for the Family Rooms. Each time Katie is here she portrays the care and compassion of the RMH Houston mission statement. Thank you Katie for serving our families and making it possible for RMH Houston to provide this service!

Jessica Engle is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for May 2016. Jessica began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in December 2015 and has completed 41 hours of service. Jessica is an amazing volunteer! She’s so dependable, and is always here for her volunteer shift. Jess has such a cheerful attitude, and is enthusiastic about helping RMHH families. She works very hard during her shift to complete every volunteer task that needs to be done, while also showing compassion for our RMHH families and eagerness to ensure families feel right at home in RMHH. We’re so glad Jess is a part of our team!

Peggy Ratcliffe is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for May 2016. Peggy began volunteering with RMH Houston in May 2008 and has completed over 257 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. As a Monday afternoon Welcome Desk volunteer, Peggy is always friendly and helpful to the guests that call the Holcombe House – home. Peggy’s warm smile provides comfort to our guests and she is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty during her shift. Congratulation Peggy and thank you for all you do for the families of Ronald McDonald House Houston!

April 2016

Cathy Konwisarz is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for April 2016. Cathy began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in September 2013 and has completed over 41 hours of service. Although all of our volunteers are awesome, Cathy is amazing. There is not one person that has walked through our doors that did not receive a huge smile and a welcoming Hello! Her greetings are not simple as she always finds something to say to individualize the encounter. Such as, “How are you, that color looks great on you!” Cathy has the biggest smile and she shares it with everyone, regardless of their age; and has no problem sitting on the floor to entertain a child while mom prepares lunch or walking the hallways and knocking on doors to personally deliver activity flyers or personally invite patients and their parents to an activity.

Christine Korpela is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for April 2016. Christine began volunteering at Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in September 2015 and has completed over 168 hours of service. In addition to her scheduled shifts, she picks up at least two to three extra shifts per week. Christine has been a true lifesaver, stepping in to fill vacancies in our ever so important morning shift. She is a rapid learner handling all tasks in our 4th floor house at TCH as well as our Family Rooms. Always punctual, she works tirelessly to ensure our families receive compassionate, thoughtful service. She comes in with a smile on face, ready to take on whatever assignment we have for her. It is indeed a privilege to have Christine on our team of volunteers!

Samantha Martinez is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for April 2016. Samantha began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in August 2015 and has completed 45 hours of service. Sam is a fantastic volunteer! Since she also works in Memorial Hermann occasionally, she’s very familiar with the hospital and happy to help families however she can. She is dedicated to her shift and can be depended on to be here any time she’s scheduled. She is so helpful, and goes above and beyond to support RMHH staff, families, and other volunteers. Her cheerfulness and eagerness to help is so appreciated, and we’re so glad she’s part of our team!

Lance Nowlin is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for April 2016. Lance began volunteering with RMH Houston in March 2013 and has completed over 169 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House. It is truly a family affair for Lance as he volunteers alongside his daughter Madison – teaching her the importance of philanthropy and giving back. Lance’s caring spirit lead him to assist the House during its annual Santa Store bringing smiles and cheer to the families during the holiday season. Thank you Lance for all that you do for the families of Ronald McDonald House Houston!

March 2016

Krystal Kwong is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for March 2016.  Krystal began volunteering at RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in July 2015 and has completed over 42 hours of service. Krystal is AWESOME!!! She’s so cheerful and wonderful. She is always on time and works hard during her shift. She will do anything I ask her to do.  Krystal is a JOY to work with.

Jasmine Silva is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for March 2016. Jasmine started volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in May 2013 and has completed over 170 hours of service. She volunteers in the House, but is always willing to go the Family Rooms when needed.  She is bilingual which is extremely helpful since we have many Spanish speaking families. Jasmine works hard at preparing the bedrooms for our overnight guests and keeping the kitchen stocked and clean. Thank you Jasmine for all you do to our House a home away from home for all of our families!

Dianna Gutierrez is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for March 2016.  Dianna began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in December 2015 and has completed 64 hours of service. Dianna has been a LIFESAVER for us!  As a sub volunteer, she graciously finds time to come in and volunteer several times a week.  She’s a hard worker and is busy stocking, cleaning, and helping families for her entire shift.  She’s very capable and completes every volunteer task with skill and attention to detail.  She is kind, generous, and passionate about serving our families at CMHH.  Dianna is a wonderful addition to our team!

William “Bill” Swinton  is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for March 2016.  Bill began volunteering with RMH Houston in January 2014 and has completed over 156 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House.  He is very dependable and goes the extra mile to make sure things are ready when the House comes alive on Sunday mornings.  Bill makes sure the Family Fridge is stocked with milk, juice and eggs first thing in the morning.  Our families know they can depend on him to help them with whatever issue arises or find someone that can.  Bill is a volunteer that truly makes the Holcombe House feel like a home away from home!

February 2016

Andra Karow is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for February 2016.  Andrea began volunteering at RMH at MDA in July 2015 and has completed over 52 hours of service.  Although Andrea has only been at our MDA location for a short period of time, she has made an impression in all of us, due to her amazing work ethics.  Her demeanor from day one has always been that of an encourager and supporter towards the patients and their families.  Several families have expressed their gratitude because of the tender and empathetic treatment they have received from Andrea. One parent shared that once when she was feeling at her lowest and found herself sitting in the kitchen lost in her grief, Andrea didn’t ask any questions and never even uttered a word towards her; what Andrea did was take two cookies, put them in a plate and give them to this mom.  Mom said that when she looked up and saw the compassion in Andrea’s eyes, she was moved by the realization that someone who didn’t know her would care so much for a total stranger.  This is the type of person Andrea is, her heart is as big as Texas!

Karen Stewart is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteers of the Month for February 2016. Karen began volunteering at RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital in April 2013 and has completed over 177 hours of service. She is extremely personable with the families that come in and she makes them feel at home and at ease.  I have seen Karen coax a family who is seemingly a million miles away in to talking, having a bite to eat, and eventually just relaxing, in a very stressful environment. Karen is extremely personable and compassionate not only to the patients and families, but to her fellow volunteers as well.  She is calm no matter the situation and is always ready with a smile of welcome.  We LOVE Karen to pieces and she totally deserves VOM not just for all of the amazing things that she does for RMH and the families, but also just for being the person that she is.

Mario Cruz  is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for February 2016.  Mario began volunteering at RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in April 2015 and has completed over 43 hours of service. He began volunteering last year with his wife, Dulce, who has been a volunteer here for some time.  Mario has been a welcome addition to our team.  Him and Dulce are phenomenal at stocking the lounges, making linen packets, and show so much compassion towards the families.  He’s happy to help with any task that needs  to be done, and we’re so glad to have him here to help!

Adrienne Moorhead is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for February 2016.  Adrienne egan volunteering with RMH Houston in April 2005 and has completed over 450 hours of service with the families at Holcombe House.  She serves up warm meals and smiles on Thursday afternboons as she cooks wonderful lunches alongside her Houston Junior Women’s Club colleagues.  The love for Ronald McDonald House Houston runs deep in the Moorhead family as Adrienne has recruited her husband, Jack, as an “honorary” member of the club and “chief meal helper”.  Thank you Adrienne for all that you do for the House and our families!

January 2016

Amita Pathak is the RMH Houston at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Volunteer of the Month for January 2016.  Amita began volunteering at RMH at MDA in July 2014 and has completed over 68 hours of service. Amita was an amazing shift volunteer for a long time, however, when her job changed her work schedule, Amita became an equally amazing sub-volunteer.  This young lady has such a passion for making our patients smile.  Each time she comes to volunteer, she makes sure to bring some type of activity for the kids/families to do.  She is the one person that will bring some type of activity for each holiday that is celebrated! Earlier this year, Amita had a family emergency in which she had to travel out of the country, but not before coming by the hospital and dropping off the supplies for the kids to make some arts and crafts activities.  Amita has such a gentle spirit and soft voice that one of the parents here calls her “The mom whisperer” as she says that when Amita speaks to them, her voice has such a calming effect on them.

Gayle Abrahams is the RMH Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer of the Month for January 2016.  Gayle began volunteering at RMH at TCH in January 2011 and has completed over 180 hours of service.. Gayle volunteers in the evening after working all day, greeting every family with her caring and compassionate smile and attitude.  Although she is a House volunteer, Gayle helps out with the Family Rooms by setting them up for the evening whenever needed.  Thank you Gayle for the time you give serving our families!

Victoria Tran is the RMH Houston at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Volunteer of the Month for January 2016.  Victoria began volunteering at RMH at CMHH in June 2015 and has completed 50 hours of service. Victoria has been a fantastic volunteer!  She’s so cheerful and helpful, and often offers to come in for the 9am-12pm which is a great help to us.  She frequently picks up sub shifts, and volunteers as much as possible during her school breaks.  Victoria works hard and happily back stocks, makes linen packets, and does anything she can to help our families.  We appreciate all the support she’s given us, especially over this holiday break!

Laura Hopeck is the Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month for January 2016. Laura began volunteering with RMH Houston in October 2014 and has completed over 200 hours of service with the families of Holcombe House.  Laura is a dedicated and faithful volunteer. She is always willing to step in where needed. In addition to her front desk duties this year (and keeping our House Library organized and updated), she co-chaired the Santa Store. Laura went above and beyond in organizing donations, managing the schedule, and helping families have a little bit of Christmas magic at our home away from home.  Laura is one of the strong, dedicated, working “hearts” of the Holcombe House!