Leslie Twing – Faces of RMHC

As a small nonprofit with a limited staff that oversees a number of programs geared toward helping families with sick children in our area, we really could not honestly do what we do without the support and dedication of our volunteers. We like to focus on shining a light on their work as often as possible, because they truly are the backbone of our organization. But the value they bring extends far beyond the scheduled timeframes of their shifts on-site at the House or in the Family Room, because our volunteers are some of our strongest voices, advocates, and ambassadors out in the community, and often to the point of helping to introduce and recruit even more volunteers to be a part of Team RMHC.

Leslie Twing has been one of our fantastic Family Room volunteers since 2018, but the first real-life connection she made to the House was through our longtime volunteer and ardent supporter B.J. Campbell, who has previously been featured as one of our “Faces of RMHC.”

“My first experience in the Ronald McDonald house family room was meeting BJ Campell. I had the honor of knowing and working with her daughter, Tancy, in the early 1980s at the UA Cinema. Tancy was such a sweet and kind girl. Sadly, Tancy passed away while we were working together. I always knew she must have had a very special mother because of how friendly she was to all of us at work. I never dreamed that 35 years later I would get to meet her sweet mother. BJ Campbell and Tancy will always hold a special place in my heart.”

In her two years of service thus far at the Family Room, Leslie has really managed to find her footing and thoroughly enjoyed connecting with families who come from all backgrounds and walks of life, but always have one thing in common: the ultimate goal of returning home with a healthy baby or child. One particular encounter stands out in Leslie’s time as a volunteer as the most memorable and impactful exchange.

“Soon after I started volunteering in the family room, I met a young man that had been airlifted with his seven-year-old son as a result of a terrible wreck. The father was pretty beat up and was crying inconsolably. They weren’t sure if his son was going to make it. It was absolutely gut wrenching to see him so upset and scared. I learned a few weeks later that both father and son got to go home. I prayed for both of them every night. I just love seeing answered prayers and miracles.”

Leslie is an Amarillo native, but considers Denmark to be her second home. Not only does she try to visit as often as humanly possible, she also speaks Danish as a second language. If that’s not impressive enough as a hidden talent (though we certainly argue it is), she is also notorious for her calligraphy skills! After processing this information, our fingers are crossed she sends us a handwritten Christmas card in Danish this year….just sayin’!

Employed full-time in the dental field, Leslie has been able to continue working during this era of coronavirus. They did close the office at the early onset of the pandemic  for six weeks however, which allowed her a chance to catch up on baking, dog walking, and bike riding! Leslie has also enjoyed tackling some epic TV-viewing and reading projects, which included the highlights of finally taking the Downton Abbey plunge as well as watching Alias Grace, and reading the Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilkas Journey, the latter of which she says is so good she’s ready to loan it out to any takers!

After this pandemic has passed, Leslie will be more than amped to get back to the movies, cross the pond for another Denmark excursion, and of course, return to the Family Room!

“I miss being able to encourage families and serve them while their children are sick. And if we are being totally honest, I miss sneaking a rice crispy treat or two while I am volunteering :-).”

As for the motivation that inspires Leslie to continue serving despite her busy schedule?

“My youngest daughter is diabetic and we spent many times in and out of the hospital while she was growing up. I had never even heard of the Ronald McDonald house family room until a couple of years ago and I thought it would be wonderful to serve families in need. I wish I had known about it while Annica was growing up.”

Leslie has been an empty nester for the past 5 years, and sure has missed the noise and commotion of having her children and their friends around. She thought volunteering would be the perfect solution for that situation, and after doing some research about RMHC and making the connection that the one and only Jan Plequette was in charge of our volunteer programs, she had to reach out!

“I had the privilege and honor of knowing Jan when our girls went to school together while they were young. I’m so happy to have reconnected with her. She is such an asset to the Ronald McDonald House.”

We certainly cannot argue with that sentiment about Jan and her dedication to our families! Thank YOU for also being an asset to the hundreds of families that find solace and peace at the Family Room each year, Leslie!