Hello everyone! My name is Courtney Fulton and this summer I am interning with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. I will be working with the communications team to improve communication efforts for the Vehicle Donation Program, which is one of many fundraising channels that allows families to stay close to their children while they receive care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals.
I will be a senior at The Ohio State University this fall majoring in Agricultural Communications and minoring in International Development and Production Agriculture. I am passionate about community development and I hope to pursue a career in community development through a non-profit organization and/or extension education.
It has been a busy but exciting first week at Ronald McDonald House! This week I had the opportunity to shadow staff members in many different departments and participate in a wide variety of experiences that have allowed me to learn more about the RMHC mission and how the organization functions. Through these shadowing experiences, my eyes were opened to the magnitude of the volunteer effort here. Big events, house amenities, meal preparation, room cleaning, and day to day tasks are all influenced largely by a massive group of volunteers and corporate and individual donors who are passionate about giving back to families in need.
The Ronald McDonald House in Columbus is the largest in the world, with the ability to accommodate up to 137 families, and is complete with a “tree house”, Lego room, princess room, movie theater, library, workout room, crafting center, prayer area, several grills, rooftop meeting/hangout space, backyard, splash pad, and tons of additional play/lounge areas-all of which is made possible thanks to the immense support of donors and volunteers. The amount of support that RMHC receives from the community is incredible.
I was able to observe the daily tasks of the Family Service Manager staff, take a tour of the house, and briefly interact with staff members in Facilities, Events, and Volunteer Management to learn more about their roles this week. In addition, I spent a lot of time with members of the communications team and was able to dive right into my major projects for the summer regarding the Vehicle Donation Program. I am currently in the process of creating an organizational system for previous VDP promotional materials and analyzing RMH’s program in comparison to similar programs, as well as learning how the VDP program fits into the larger mission of the organization. All of these tasks are in preparation for coming up with a communications plan full of new and creative ideas to improve the program later this summer!
Finally, on Friday I had the opportunity to assist with “Deloitte Day”, an annual large scale volunteer event when approximately 150 volunteers from the Deloitte & Touche Company come to complete various service projects at the House. It was amazing to see how much the volunteers were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time and very interesting to see the behind the scenes planning that goes into hosting such a large event! I learned so much this week and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!