Volunteer Month – Melissa Regalado, Family, and Friends

April 21, 2023 | News, Volunteer Spotlight

Ronald McDonald House Charities volunteers make all the difference in the lives of families – cooking, hosting, nurturing, or simply being there to help in any way they can. Volunteers make a big difference, helping to offset costs that can be put back into programs and services for sick children and their families.

One volunteer who provides meals for families staying at RMHC is Melissa Regalado. Melissa began volunteering at RMHC of NW Ohio in 2016, but Melissa and her family have been connected to RMHC for much longer.

“My cousin’s kidneys shut down, and she was life-flighted to RMHC Ann Arbor,” says Melissa. “They (RMHC Ann Arbor) took care of my cousin and family, and ever since, we knew we wanted to give back to RMHC.” Melissa’s family has stayed true to that. “My mom taught us the importance of giving back. She has been cooking meals on Christmas Eve for over 15 years,” says Melissa.

Volunteers who provide meals for our families are integral in making our House a home away from home during their children’s treatment and recovery process.

“I started doing it once a month, but I just could not get enough. Now I cook meals twice a week,” mentions Melissa. Rarely is Melissa alone in the process. Melissa works as an Independent Provider, providing services to clients with disabilities. Melissa is also occasionally joined by her daughter, Melicia, and client, David.

“I like to help my mom cook and bake here. I like getting meals ready and giving back to the people because God wants me to do that,” said Melicia.

Melicia Regalado, daughter of Melissa

David has been volunteering at RMHC for five years. He enjoys cleaning and preparing meals for families.

David, volunteer at RMHC of NW Ohio

What’s the secret to Melissa’s amazing meals? Comfort.

“Homecooked meals mean a lot to the families staying here,” mentions Melissa. “I love to make chicken fajitas, baked spaghetti, soups, salads, or anything else comforting.”

One of the amazing meals the Regalado family made for dinner.

If you are considering becoming a volunteer, Melissa has some advice. “Just do it! It’s great to help others, and it’s gratifying and humbling. This is a wonderful organization. When families stay here, they do not need to worry about anything except caring for their loved ones.”

Volunteers are crucial to the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio. If you are interested in volunteering individually or as a group, please get in touch with Wendy Bejaige at wendy@rmhctoledo.org or call 419-471-HOME (4663).