SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Fifteen Airmen from Scott Air Force Base volunteered at a Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis, Missouri on June 15 to help the house with tasks their limited staff needed to accomplish.
The Ronald McDonald House is a charity that gives the families of children that need extended medical care a place to stay in the area at little to no cost. People come from all over the country, and even as far away as Poland or Australia.
“We receive the families of children who need extended medical care for things like organ transplants or chemotherapy, and they stay with us anywhere from three months to over a year,” said Kelsey Cripe, Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis family service manager.
While their employees work to maintain the house, the help they receive from volunteers is crucial to providing the families with the best conditions possible.
The group from Scott AFB spent several hours cleaning windows, floorboards and vacuuming. Outside, they helped with landscaping by pulling weeds, picking up leaves and trimming hedges.
“Everything went so well!” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Switzer, 618th Air Operations Center air refueling mission planner. “I was very proud of the effort put forth by everyone, and it’s nice to know our efforts helped the house and the families staying there.”
According to Cripe, the work done by the group was equivalent to 45 hours of work that would have had to be done by the Ronald McDonald House charities’ employees.
“It was fun, it gave me a good feeling to do my part for people in need and give stressed families one less thing to worry about,” said Airman 1st Class Vichim Jackson, 436th Supply Chain Operations Squadron supply specialist. “If an opportunity like this came again, I would do it. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it.”
For the Ronald McDonald House, having volunteers so eager to help is truly appreciated.
“We have limited staff and things we can’t get through throughout the week,” said Cripe. “So, it truly means everything to have volunteers come out and take time out of their weekend to give back to the families who are staying here and truly make it a home away from home.”