2019 Volunteer of the Year: LJ Fenton
LJ Fenton has served faithfully at Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital since 2005. We are so grateful for more than 1200 hours he’s freely given. Even with a full-time and part-time job, LJ prioritizes part of his limited free time to serving our families on Saturday evenings. The mission of RMH is in LJ’s heart and soul. He always shows up early and comes ready to serve and connect with families using the House. Not only is he always striving to perfect his already fluent Spanish skills with our Spanish-speaking families, but he also attempts to learn greetings in as many languages as possible to be able to give a welcome to each family in their native tongue whenever possible. He ensures new family members understand what is available to them in the Ronald McDonald House by giving a wonderful, thorough tour. LJ is very personable with the other volunteers and is always willing to help new volunteers acclimate and feel comfortable volunteering at RMH. As one of the House Managers commented, “He’s one of the most selfless, caring volunteers I have ever been blessed to know. I can count on him each shift to make RMH at TCH a home away from home.”
Volunteers of the Month
Holcombe House – Cheryl Fort
Cheryl is a warm and inviting volunteer who always has a smile on her face. She is willing to do anything to help out during her shift and makes an effort to form meaningful relationships with the families. She is an avid Houston sports fan (Go Astros!) and loves kids of all ages. Her dedication to RMH Houston of over 10 years makes her a natural leader on her shift for other volunteers and visitors. She is eager to do whatever is necessary to keep the House running smoothly and ensure that families are happy. Thanks for your wonderful service, Cheryl – we are lucky to have you at Holcombe House!
Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Laurel Burrin
Laurel is such a giving person and does so much to support Ronald McDonald House Houston! She’s part of our Pizza Day crew and we can always depend on her to jump in to help sort pizza as soon as she arrives. Her empathy, compassion, and cheerfulness when speaking with patients and families makes her a great representative of RMH. We are so glad she chooses to share her time with us!
Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Joshua Atkins
Joshua has been part of our team for a while now and honestly, we don’t know what we would do without him! His overall courteous, kind, empathetic and compassionate demeanor when dealing with both the patients and their parents is always obvious in everything he does and in how much he gives of himself to the families and the organization! With Joshua, we know that even if it’s a holiday, he will be here to support our staff and make life easier for the families. Joshua is a compassionate and amazing human being. Just one example his dedication and excellence: One Sunday, Father’s Day, after spending the day with his own father, Joshua drove from College Station just so that he could cover his evening volunteer shift! When I asked him why he had done that, he replied that, there are Dads’ here too, and the least he could do for them on their day, was to bake them some fresh cookies and spend time with them, too! We are blessed that Joshua is part of our team!
Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Karena Hauter
Karena is the perfect volunteer to nominate for volunteer of the month to kick off this new year. Karena began volunteer not knowing what to expect but she tackled every task with a smile and willingly. Karena’s can do attitude and smiling face are a welcome treat for the families and staff. Karena even handled having multiple managers in the beginning of her volunteering with style and grace. There is no task that Karena isn’t willing to tackle knowing that our families will benefit from her hard work.
Holcombe House – Lynne Clark
Lynne has been a dedicated Holcombe House volunteer for almost 5 years! She is always willing to help wherever needed and she is fantastic with our families and kids. In addition to her Friday afternoon placement at Holcombe House, Lynne also serves as a liaison between ADPi Houston Moms and Ronald McDonald House Houston – increasing awareness for our mission and connecting us with potential volunteers and donors in the community. Lynne has also helped with events in the past and on holidays at the House, which we appreciate greatly. Thank you, Lynne, for your wonderful service to RMH Houston and Holcombe House!
Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Alan Pham
Alan is so dependable! We can always count on him to be here for his shift, and he always picks up a substitute shift if he has to reschedule. He’s cheerful and happy to help with anything we need. Alan does a wonderful job taking care of the Family Rooms and greeting families with a smile. We are so glad he’s part of our Ronald McDonald House team!
Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Anne Pierrat
Anne is an amazing volunteer! Each time she comes to her volunteer shift, she often is prepared with some type of special (extra) activity for the families to do. These activities engage the patients and their families as well as bring some type of normalcy to them while they are in the hospital. Anne’s disposition is always upbeat and energetic. She interacts with the patients and their families and makes them feel welcome in all of our RMHH areas. When baking our famous Ronald McDonald chocolate chip cookies, Anne takes the time to visit the patients in their rooms to deliver the freshly baked cookies, just so the kids can enjoy them while they’re still hot! Indeed, Ronald McDonald House is blessed to have Anne as part of our team!
Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Monica Clark
Monica came to us through a partnership but quickly made RMH her family. Monica’s care and concern for our families and the service that we provide for them is unmatched. Monica always has a smile on her face and is ready to complete any and all tasks asked of her. Monica took the lead and leads the team of volunteers in serving pizza with a smile, restocking the lounges, and preparing fresh linen packets. Monica is a pleasure to work with and an easy nominee for volunteer of the month.
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Holcombe House – Annette Beltran
In her time serving as a Social Work volunteer intern at Ronald McDonald House, Annette has grown tremendously and has exceeded all of our expectations. She comes in everyday with a positive attitude and ready to assist others. Annette places priority on family member care and creatively thinks of solutions to assist families with limited resources. Additionally, Annette shows initiative and is often doing task without the need for instruction or supervision. We are so grateful for her hard work getting Family Support Services up and running!
Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Denise Babecki
Denise is a dedicated volunteer who has given so much of her time to RMH Houston. She is so dependable, often offers to cover extra shifts, and even stays late to help longer than she was scheduled for when we are short-handed. She participates in RMH special events as well, and does a great job manning our front desk and welcoming families. We love her willingness to help with anything that needs to be done, and we’re thankful that she’s part of our team at RMH Texas Children’s Hospital!
Ronald McDonald Family Room MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – MyKayla Searles-Houston
MyKayla is such an amazing and giving volunteer! Her dedication to our organization and our mission is admirable and very telling of where her heart is when it comes to serving the patients and parents that Ronald McDonald House supports. Due to her current studies, MyKayla has experienced many schedule changes throughout the time she has been our volunteer, yet, each time she has simply requested a change of volunteer shift so that she may continue her amazing work with us. She has never allowed those changes to become an obstacle, but rather, an opportunity to be involved in different capacities with our organization. This volunteer has such a sweet and gentle demeanor, she is perfect for the population that we serve and is loved by both the kiddos and their families. We are so glad to have MyKayla as part of our team at RMH MD Anderson!
Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Jane Slusher
Jane came in with the new group of Junior League ladies and caught on quickly to the level of service we try to provide for our families. Jane provides service with a smile and is eager to help out with any and all tasks asked of her. Jane is very appreciative of any and all tasks needed that will help us provide the best service possible for our families here at CMHH. We are thankful for her service and time, so what better way than to nominate her as our April Volunteer of the Month!
Holcombe House – Kaye Barnes
Kaye has been a dedicated volunteer at Holcombe House for eight years. She is willing to help wherever needed and she is fantastic with families and kids. Kaye always has a smile on her face an encouraging word to share. She exhibits her love for her own family in the many ways she assists families staying at Holcombe House – often restocking snacks so no one goes hungry, helping give tours so new visitors feel welcome and sharing her upbeat attitude with everyone she meets. Thank you, Kaye, for your wonderful service to RMH Houston and Holcombe House. We are so lucky to have you as a part of our family!
Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – James Grigsby
James is a dedicated volunteer who truly exemplifies our mission. He’s so dependable and we can always count on him to be here for his shift, on time and ready to help! James is a wonderful volunteer trainer and has spent numerous shifts welcoming new volunteers to RMH Houston and showing them how to keep our Family Rooms at their best. He shows such cheerfulness, kindness, and respect to our RMH families and he’s truly an asset to our volunteer team!
Ronald McDonald Family Room MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Ann Smith
Ann’s easy-going attitude is contagious! She comes to her shift calm, collected and ready to tackle anything that comes her way. She is organized, thoughtful and ambitious, whether it be baking cookies or working on special projects. Ann’s attentive, friendly and optimistic personality makes her the best candidate for the May Volunteer of the Month!
Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Kate Lummis
Kate came over with the new group of Junior League ladies this year and she quickly bought into our mission. She is very supportive of our program, and provides collaborative, compassionate service with excellence. Kate serves pizza to our families with a smile, and goes above and beyond by even helping sort and put away our Wednesday supply delivery. We are pleased to nominate Kate for May’s volunteer of the month because she more than deserves the recognition.