Keeping Families Close
Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. We have many volunteer opportunities to suit your schedule and preferences, whether serving as a House Volunteer, a Teen Volunteer, working with our Meal Program (click to visit page) or volunteering at a special event. Be sure to check out our featured volunteer profiles below! We also have many opportunities for groups to do projects; please contact the Houses directly for a list of available projects.
Tampa House – located on Davis Islands – email Maggie Somerville or call her at (813) 254-2398, ext. 317
St. Pete East, West & Central Houses near JHACH – email Bree Tramontana or call her at (727) 767-8166.
Trained volunteers are an integral part of the Ronald McDonald House program. Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis every day of the week for these shifts: 10 am – 2 pm | 2 – 6 pm | 6 – 9 pm
Volunteers register and check-out families, answer telephones, give House tours and assist in the day-to-day operation of the House by helping where needed.
Volunteers must have the ability to relate to children and adults. A primary quality is the ability to be a good, understanding listener as parents may need to share the burden of their child’s hospitalization. Good telephone and organizational skills are important. We have a great need for volunteers who speak Spanish.
Volunteers must have their own transportation. Adult singles or couples are welcome. Volunteers are needed for arts & crafts, house decorating and those with special skills such as hair styling or massage therapy.
Click to view the volunteer spotlight on MOR-TV!
A minimum of two four-hour shifts per month is requested as outlined above. Orientation is held monthly.
Teen Volunteers & Kids Activities
The St. Petersburg houses are designated Service Learning sites. High school students work alongside staff restocking pantries, storing donations, and performing light housekeeping and light yard work. They also facilitate children’s activities and make treats in our kitchens for the families.
Teens must be at least 15 years old.
The summer program begins shortly after school lets out for the summer and continues as the teen’s schedule allows during the school year.
The application process begins in March with a tour for the parents and teen. The application can be completed and guidelines signed at that time. Bright Futures scholarship applications need to be signed off by staff and the school counselor before beginning the program.
After an orientation, teens schedule a 3-hour shift from 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm (weekdays only).
The Teen Cuisine program offers service hours for providing a home-style meal for the West House families.
For Tampa, email Maggie Somerville or call 813-254-2398, ext. 317.
For teens under age 15 or for additional ways you can help, here is an Activity List.
Volunteer of the Month
We could not run our Ronald McDonald Houses without the loving care provided by our loyal house shift volunteers. Each month we choose one volunteer from amongst our four houses who has provided exceptional service and gone above and beyond. Thank you to these amazing volunteers for helping us in Keeping Families Close.
Steve began volunteering at the Tampa House in January 2019. He was referred to us by RMHCTB Board Member and golf buddy John Iwanicki. After Steve retired and his wife passed away, he realized it was time to give back to his community. He asked John for volunteer recommendations and was immediately referred to RMHC. Steve has donated 128 hours of his time to date. As a volunteer on the 2-6pm shift Steve is a wonderful ambassador to our resident families, visitors and meal donors, and has recently agreed to become a Shadow Trainer to train others to become RMHC Shift Volunteers. When Steve isn’t at RMHC you can find him either on the golf course or enjoying time with his one-year old grandson, Oliver. We are so appreciative of Steve’s time and support of our Ronald McDonald House.
Judy Henzel is a consistent presence at the Central House Volunteer Desk. Contributing over 500 hours during her 4 years with RMHC, Judy has worn many hats! She keeps our families fed with weekly meal pick-ups from local restaurants. Judy also spent time at the East House as a Learning Lab Assistant; which supports an in-house supplemental school/mentorship program.
In her current role as a Desk Volunteer Judy is willing to help in various capacities including our Meals on the Go Program: every week, Judy packs lunch bags for families who are unable to leave their child’s room in the hospital. When she isn’t volunteering at RMHC Judy is a foodie who enjoys taking part in local cooking classes. We look forward to more time spent together supporting RMHC families!
When Ruth moved to Tampa she began looking for ways to get involved in her new community. After she saw an ad in a local newspaper for volunteers at RMHC, she decided to apply – and is so glad she did!
The Lynch family (Ruth, husband Fred & twins Conor & Siobhan) has moved around quite a bit. They have lived in Philadelphia, South Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey and even spent a year in Denmark before making Tampa their home. Every summer they head back up north to visit family at the Jersey Shore. Fred and Ruth are both one of 10; her two kids (now young adults) love catching up with all of their 41 first cousins!
Ruth comments, “We have realized through our many moves and through our large families that it is really not a house or a town that makes you feel at home, but the people that you meet and the people that are a part of your life. The staff and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House are so dedicated and loving that I honestly believe that they make this house more of a home and I am so honored to be a part of that. I am blessed to have met so many wonderful families that stay at the house; their strength and love shines through every day.”
Ruth began as a house shift volunteer at the Tampa Ronald McDonald House, moving onto the House Operations Committee before accepting a position on the Board of Trustees for Ronald McDonald House Charities Tampa Bay. In 2019 she chaired the Storybook Ball, personally ensuring that this event exceeded all fundraising goals and expectations. She has accumulated well over 1,000 volunteer hours through her roles at the house and on our Board of Trustees. We feel very fortunate that Ruth chooses RMHC to benefit from her many talents!
Thursday mornings at the St. Pete East House finds Eddie in her usual spot….the busy kitchen where she is often simultaneously clearing breakfast, beginning to prepare lunch and helping with the Thursday Fresh Market massive donation! Eddie has been an East House volunteer for 3 ½ years, contributing over 600 hours of her own time to help our families. In addition to her regular shift, Eddie also picks up donations from Publix on Sunday mornings and has been our point person for Sam’s Club donations in the past.
When asked why she volunteers for RMHC, Eddie stated “the people”. As a retiree, Eddie found that she wanted to give back to her community, and when her husband put a stop to all of the animals coming home from her animal shelter volunteer job, she came to RMHC!! A reliable and dedicated volunteer, the East House is proud to acknowledge Eddie as our Volunteer of the Month for June!
Michael has volunteered at our Tampa House since it opened in 1992 on Davis Islands. When his career took him further afield, he took a break from his volunteer schedule. Life has come full circle for Michael and he now lives close enough to once again volunteer for shifts at the house.
Michael is truly a selfless and dedicated shift volunteer. He rarely misses a shift and is always willing to help on extra shifts whenever needed. Michael is always thinking of ways he can help our families. On his birthday he organized his friends to make a dinner at the house. When we are low on food or sundry items, Michael takes it upon himself to rally his colleagues for donations. The next thing we know there are literally truck loads of needed items heading our way. Michael’s passion for our mission is apparent through his caring, charitable and compassionate attitude towards our RMHC resident families.
Carol began volunteering with RMHC in 1995. Since then, she has contributed over 2,000 hours and almost 24 years of service. We couldn’t be more honored for the time she has devoted and chosen to spend with our families.
Carol has not only been volunteering at the West House for the past 20 +years but has also spent time as one of our Assistant Managers during her history with RMHC. Currently, Carol teaches at Azalea Elementary and comes to the West House after school to assist families in the evening. Usually found in the heart of our home bustling in the kitchen or gathered around the dining room table, Carol is quick to help both families and staff. Thank you, Carol, for your continued years of service, we look forward to many more!
Central House volunteer Susan just celebrated her one-year anniversary as a RMHC volunteer! During this time, she has been a smiling face to Central families and staff on Monday evenings. Aside from her time at the Desk, Susan is always a helpful presence in the kitchen. She is not only giving of her time for RMHC, but also volunteers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Thank you for your dedication to our mission and service to our families, Susan!
Kathy has been a Saturday RMHC Housewarmer at the St. Petersburg East House for 5 ½ years and has contributed 375 hours of service. Prior to moving to St. Petersburg, she volunteered for RMHC in Delaware for 10 years. She has always been an advocate for children in need and has found that preparing and serving meals to our hungry families is an excellent way to help! Whether she’s working with a community lunch group or preparing lunch for 30 guests all on her own, it gives her a great pleasure to help families at RMHC. She loves being in the kitchen and using her wonderful cooking and kitchen organizational skills to help others. RMHC and the St. Pete East House are fortunate to have Kathy volunteering with us.
Kathy Cassel is originally from Long Island, New York. Before moving to Florida, she worked 30 years for the Teamsters Local Union 282 in New York. After discovering RMH in New York City in 2001, she knew she wanted to become a volunteer upon her retirement. She retired to Dunedin to be close to her family and began volunteering at the Tampa Ronald McDonald House on Valentine’s Day, 2018.
Kathy is a faithful and dedicated volunteer. She takes her shift volunteering very seriously and has committed to at least one shift every other week at the Tampa house to assist resident families. Thankfully, Kathy is happy to help even more and pick up extra shifts when her schedule permits. She says, “It truly brings joy to my heart to be part of such a wonderful organization. I love that the little bit I can contribute can ease the difficulties these RMH families face during their children’s stays in area hospitals.” Kathy is the best Valentine’s Day gift we have received, and we are so appreciative of her service to our Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.