Susan Barnes – Faces of RMHC

If you’ve followed our social media accounts for any matter of time, you have probably seen some adorable pics of NICU warriors sporting a stylish beanie cap or baby blanket in their celebratory “going home” pics. But did you know that every single one of those blankets and hats were crafted by the hands of a generous volunteer here in our community?

 

One of our volunteers who has set the bar in her dedication to crocheting and donating multitudes of baby swag for us is none other than  our dear friend Susan Barnes.

 I LOVE to crochet!  I crochet baby caps and baby blankets for the families that stay at RMH as well as for the babies in the hospital with the RMH Gift delivery program.  I even make beginner crochet bags to keep in the Family Room for any of the new parents that are looking for something to do or to learn to crochet.  I also teach crochet classes at my church.  We are looking forward to reconvening the classes soon!”

In addition to her crochet projects, Susan also is a volunteer in our Family Room. Sometimes she is able to intertwine the two volunteer roles whenever there happens to be.a quiet day up at the Family Room. Susan spent 34 years working at the Valero Credit Center in Amarillo, which is where she first discovered the House. Valero has been a supporter of RMHC for many years, which has included donating in-kind supplies, collecting monetary donations from employees, providing a grant for the construction of our new House, and most famously, hosting the annual Valero Volunteer Appreciation Dinner as a way to thank our volunteers and supporters for playing an integral role in fulfilling our mission.

“I LOVE all of the get togethers and dinners that the volunteers have with the Ronald McDonald House.  They really know how to nurture and appreciate their volunteers.  I love the fact that I have made so many friends with the other volunteers as well as hospital staff and the staff at RMHC.”

Susan is a native of Frankfort, Kentucky, but now calls Amarillo home. After retiring from Valero, she most recently spent the last 3 years driving for Uber, which she says was a great opportunity to meet and engage with so many interesting people from all different walks of life. When it comes to Susan’s favorite experience with the charity, it came when she had an opportunity to bond with the father of an ill child using her gift of crochet!

“I remember a very young father that came into the Family Room and said “I’ve always wanted to learn to crochet”!  So, I spent almost two hours teaching him to crochet a blanket for his child.  He was so excited.  Many parents have taken the bags to learn.  I’ve made hundreds of these bags for the Family Room.”

 

It likely comes as no surprise to you that Susan has really capitalized on all of this extra time at home during the virus as an opportunity to work on more crochet projects! In addition to the caps and blankets, she has also been working on comforters and prayer shawls and has very recently donated another batch of items to RMHC. She has also recently taken the plunge into the realm of Netflix for the first time, and has recently completed Grace & Frankie, Dead to Me, and is now working her way through Riverdale.

It’s not so much a matter of “where” Susan wants to go once the pandemic has passed but “what” she looks forward to being able to do, and that’s hug people! She does look forward to  being able to go anywhere and everywhere, and if one of those places happens to be a McDonald’s, she is bound to order a yogurt parfait!

 

We appreciate Susan’s tremendous support over the years, from Valero sponsor to Family Room volunteer and dedicated crochet artist! Thank you for being a part of Team RMHC! And as for someone who spends as much time crocheting as Susan, she’s bound to run out of yarn at some point.

“I have just about used up all of my stockpile of yarn!  If anyone has some extra yarn, please let me know – I really could use more!!”