Interpretation of Love

Contrary to what you may have heard, we don’t just provide a place to stay for families of pediatric cancer kids or NICU babies. The Ronald McDonald House is here for ALL families who travel to Amarillo for their child to receive medical care, regardless of the type of treatment. Another common misconception is that eligibility to stay at the House is based on one’s income, which in all actuality is not a factor at all! We serve families from all walks of life and who come from all reaches of the globe.

In fact, many families who come to stay at the Ronald McDonald House or utilize the Ronald McDonald Family Room have immigrated to the United States from other countries to pursue better opportunities for their families, and often do not speak English. While it is always interesting and often eye-opening to meet families from other cultures and learn more about their lives, it does come with its challenges when it comes to tackling the language barriers, especially during the check-in process. So when we get wind of the fact that one of our volunteers is bilingual, it always comes as nothing short of a godsend for us.

One of these specially skilled volunteers currently on Team RMHC is Amelia Carlton. Originally from Hereford, Amelia first made her connection with RMHC through her co-worker friend, Silvia Villarreal. Silvia started out at the Family Room, and then moved to working at the House on the weekends. After continuously hearing how rewarding of an experience it was for Silvia, Amelia decided to take the plunge herself, signing up to serve at the Family Room at NWTHS.

“I always enjoy interpreting for parents who speak Spanish only.  I like to make them feel comfortable.”

Though Amelia has native Texas Panhandle blood in her, she did have the chance to step out of her comfort zone a bit and relocate to Germany to live for a year. And while the Family Room is temporarily closed as we navigate this current public health crisis with COVID-19, Amelia has not skipped a beat when it comes to finding ways to not just stay busy, but also give back and help others.

“I  sewed some face masks for my daughter.  She is a counselor for AISD and every two weeks administrative staff goes to pass out packets for students.  She asked me to make some masks for them. I take walks & pray rosary.  I’m  also trying to finish a baby blanket with some yarn [fellow Family Room volunteer] Susan Barns gave me.”

As far as rest and relaxation is concerned, Amelia has enjoyed catching up on Hallmark Channel, UPTV, and also watching some telenovelas on Univision, something her mom got her hooked on years back.

Once this pandemic has passed, Amelia most looks forward to having the chance to hug her children and grandchildren. The most difficult part for her on having the Family Room closed has been missing all of the friendly faces and appreciation she feels as a dedicated volunteer to families who need her most.

“I want to give back because I’m thankful for all my blessings.  I want parents to have less things to worry about when their child is hospitalized.”

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you would likely recall that most of our Faces of RMHC most look forward to certain foods when they step in the doors of McDonald’s, but for Amelia that “comfort snack” comes in the way of the caramel frappe. With summer on the horizon, this happens to be the perfect time of the year to indulge a little with the iced coffee treats!

Thank you for being such a source of joy at the Family Room, Amelia! We appreciate you tremendously, and so do the families!