My favorite service moments
By YCL Youth Council President, Davis Dunahugh
One of my favorite places to volunteer is Ronald McDonald House. This charity partner is important to me because when I was 7 a “mast” was found in my brain. I was quickly taken by ambulance to The Randall Children’s Hospital and spent 24 hours in ICU. My family and I found out that I was one of 3 children in the ICU with masts in their brains. My mast turned out to be an infection and was cleared up with antibiotics. The other 2 kids were not as lucky...they had cancer. I spent a total of 3 days at the Randall Children’s with several other kids, most of whom didn’t get to go home as quickly as I.
Jumping forward to middle school I learned about community service. West Sylvan Middle School requires all 8th graders to give 4 hours to their community each quarter so my Mom and I researched charities in Portland and we learned about the Ronald McDonald House.
The Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families that have a children requiring long-term care at hospitals around the country. Housing is free to them as well as food, toys and diapers. It takes a lot of volunteers to keep the facilities going and to provide families with a comfortable place to stay while their children are receiving treatment. When I learned about the service they provide, I knew this was where I needed to volunteer.
There are two locations in Portland, one that serves the east side at Emanuel Hospital and a newly opened west side facility on the south water front area. I've been lucky enough to cook several meals for families at both locations through YCL. Every time I volunteer I think about the other kids I met at Randall Children's Hospital and wonder if any of their families were able to use the Ronald McDonald house. I also think about the families that I currently serve and hope their kids get a diagnosis as positive as mine.
Davis plays baseball, track & field (javelin, discus, and shotput), and is an excellent alpine skier. Ronald McDonald House is his favorite charity to work with because of his own childhood illness. Davis is a sophomore at Lincoln High School.