Team Jim & the Girls

Team Jim & the girls final imageWhat do a retired IRS employee, a retired Accountant, a retired Alcohol & Drug Counselor and a retired NRG supervisor have in common? Most people would say very little, but at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House when you put these four people together, the results are “Team Jim & the Girls”.

For the past 5 years, on every Wednesday morning Jim Schock, Debby Priebe, Betsy Harris and Pat Calpin come together and bring a smile and warmth to the families at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House.

As each of their careers came to a close, all were looking for volunteer opportunities. Their experience, skills and dynamic personalities made them a perfect fit. They work as a unit, supporting each other in their daily tasks and also in their quest and competition to find the perfect almond ring! (Jim is the current winner.) While their great friendship has been an unexpected bonus, all were drawn to RMHC of WNY by a desire to help families and “spread a little kindness”.

“Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House helps me appreciate what I have and gives me the opportunity to help others who are going through a difficult time in their lives”, comments Jim. The others strongly agree. “It is very gratifying” continues Jim, “I help out with small tasks and also drive the van taking families to the hospital. The strength and resiliency of the parents is amazing, they are an inspiration.”

“Pat and I are in the kitchen”, adds Debby, “Like our own homes, it is the hub of the house, where guest families gather, tell their stories and seek comfort. Being here for them and asking, ‘What can I do for you?’ is very gratifying.” Pat agrees, “Visiting with and supporting our guest families really give you a closer connection to what the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House is all about: providing the support and normalcy for families whose child is critically ill.”

“Sitting at this desk involves so much more than just answering the phone, the door and helping with administrative jobs,” says Betsy, “The guest families are the priority. I answer their questions and help them feel more comfortable. I am glad I can help, it’s why I am here.”

As each agrees, “Wednesday is one of the highlights of our week, when we are not here we miss it”.