12 May The Giving Spirit
If you’ve ever visited the House in December, you know we like to go all out with the festivities and decor to get in the holiday spirit. If Santa didn’t have his bearings, he might actually think he was back home at the North Pole when he did a walk-through on Christmas Eve. In all honesty, it might just even be enough to make the rest of Rudolph’s face blush! Of all the decorations we put up, it’s the Christmas Village that truly stands out and has stood the test of time as the ultimate fan favorite in the House. A great deal of that holiday charm can be attributed to a local collectors’ group of Department 56 gifts that donated numerous ornate pieces to help us build a Christmas village into this bright and beaming little holiday community that it still is today. That connection also opened the door for us to meet a fantastic friend who has now ultimately been with us at the Family Room since it first opened its doors 20 years ago!
It was a number of years ago that Peggy Vinson’s Department 56 Club generously donated a holiday village set to RMHC to display in the front of the House during Christmastime. That was her first introduction to the Ronald McDonald House and our mission of providing hospitality, comfort, and support in a homelike environment to families of children receiving medical care. The Ronald McDonald Family Room welcomed its inaugural year of service in 2000, and Peggy Vinson first came on board as volunteer in the beginning.
Peggy’s favorite thing about the Ronald McDonald House is the opportunity to personally be able to serve families with sick children. She continues to volunteer after all these years because she is able and still enjoys doing so! Her favorite memory of serving after all these years was getting to meet a newborn who had survived a cancer diagnosis. During these days of increased isolation and staying at home, Peggy has missed being able to work her shifts running the office during the temporary closure at the Family Room.
“It is a blessing to see the success stories of the premies who get to go home with their parents.”
An Amarillo native, Peggy says one interesting fact about herself is that she has 10 siblings! While many of us have been continuously plugged into Netflix and Hulu during this season at home, Peggy has not. She has enjoyed spending her time cooking, cleaning, reading, and taking many walks and bike rides in an effort to take advantage of this beautiful spring weather! The french fries at McDonald’s have obviously withstood the test of times as an American fast food staple, and they just so happen to be Peggy’s favorite menu item as well.
It has been such a joy to serve hundreds of families over thousands of visits annually at the Ronald McDonald Family Room these past 20 years….and it truly is a refuge for families who need it the most! Due to such a generous outpouring of support from kind folks with generous hearts here in the Texas Panhandle, we continue to be able to operate the Family Room 100% by volunteers, 12 hours each day, 365 days of the year! Thank you, Peggy, for your many years of service and advocacy for families in need!