I started volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House shortly after its opening at NUH in March 2013. I had moved to Singapore a few months before and apart from my part-time work at a counseling practice, I still had time to participate in volunteering. As I had been involved in volunteering with parents and children for years back in Europe, choosing RMHC Singapore as a charity to volunteer my time was quite an obvious choice for me. Most Ronald McDonald Houses in other parts of the world are usually huge self standing houses and the in-house facility at NUH is quite an exception. I was in for quite a surprise. I could not do some of things that I could do in other Houses e.g. cooking a meal for the families.
Over the past months, I have seen the changes and am proud to say that the team of management, staff and volunteers do make a difference for the families of critically ill children, staying at our House. We introduced the in-house family catered lunches, dinners and tea time snacks, an initiative that allowed parents to share their stories and have a little bit of distraction from all their worries. A few months ago, a small oven was bought and I started baking cookies for our guests. I noticed that small gestures, such as the smell of freshly baked cookies or doing some ironing in the living room, give our guests a feeling of being back at home. Apart from that, a volunteer can be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or a person to have a good laugh with. Overall, RMHC Singapore has made a difference in my life and I hope I have done the same for our guests!