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 an incoming sophomore at Lincoln High School.