U-Haul volunteers spent a recent Saturday evening partaking in the Meals that Heal program with Ronald McDonald House Charities. U-Haul donates, prepares and serves meals for guests staying at the RMHC Midtown Phoenix location near the U-Haul corporate towers.
RMHC provides a home away from home to families whose children are in the hospital. Amenities such as laundry rooms, a playground and a full kitchen are available every hour of every day. Guests stay free of charge. U-Haul has partnered with RMHC of Phoenix since 2015.
Commitment to Community
The industry leader in DIY moving and self-storage is celebrating 50 years of being headquartered in Phoenix in 2017. U-Haul continues to have a longstanding commitment to serving the community and focusing on charities and organizations that serve the most basic of human needs: food, clothing and shelter.
Each month the Company offers volunteer events for its Team Members. Opportunities range from building homes with Habitat for Humanity and serving the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul, to organizing donated clothing at Andre House and boxing meals at St. Mary’s Food Bank.
“With the offerings U-Haul puts together for its Team Members, you can explore and find what (volunteer opportunities) suit you best,” explains Marcia Dziobak, U-Haul production coordinator. “U-Haul cares about the community we work and live in, and wants to help others prosper and better themselves.”
Time to Shop
Grocery shopping is step one when volunteering at RMHC. U-Haul volunteers bought all the necessary ingredients for a big dinner. By popular vote, the Team Members chose Mexican cuisine for the guests.
The shopping list included: taco shells, ground beef, shredded cheese, chips, salsa and lots of fruit. Burritos, tacos and quesadillas would be the main entrees, with a variety of toppings and lemonade to drink.
Dinner is Served
U-Haul Volunteers arrived early to begin preparations. Chicken went on the grill. The beef began simmering on the stove. The vegetables were chopped.
“Volunteers are the difference in the day for our families,” states Helain Day, RMHC volunteer program manager. “Last year alone, 522 groups and 172 individuals dedicated more than 16,000 hours to keeping families close during their time of need.”
Ronald McDonald House guests arrived at the community kitchen to see what Team U-Haul had made. Smiles spread across their faces at the sight of cheesy quesadillas, a nacho bar and a tempting fruit plate. Guests ate graciously after many “thank yous.”
U-Haul Sponsors Room
RMHC encourages companies to make meals for guests and to a sponsor a room. Sponsored rooms are a place for families to stay when they have children in the hospital. Some professional sports teams in the state, such as baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks and football’s Arizona Cardinals, have sponsored and decorated rooms. U-Haul is another of the RMHC room sponsors.
The U-Haul room has two queen beds and a bathroom vanity. A large flat-screen TV hangs from one wall and large portraits of U-Haul equipment decorate another one.
“I really felt proud when I saw the U-Haul placard outside the door of our sponsored room,” Dziobak adds. “The room was both welcoming and calming, just as I felt it should be for the families staying there.”
After a tour of the Ronald McDonald House location, Team U-Haul returned to the community kitchen. Guests were finishing up their Meals that Heal dinner, so volunteers got to work putting away leftovers and cleaning counters. The dishes were then washed asTeam Members completed their volunteer duties.
There is no greater gratification than the smile on a child’s face while enjoying his or her favorite meal, or the relief parents feel when realizing they don’t have to worry about feeding their family because U-Haul has already taken care of it, Day notes. “From the onset U-Haul embraced RMHC of Phoenix wholeheartedly! The Company’s commitment to community and family shines bright here,” she adds.
Thanks to U-Haul volunteers: Erick Acevedo, Paige Brown, Nick Cassens, Marcia Dziobak, Sarah Dziobak, Michelle Vukov-Mikel, Alonna Ross, Latasha Ross, Zofia Sells, Hilda Shockey, Cece Wagner and Jason Wagner.
Did you know U-Haul gives back to communities across the U.S.? Read about the Company’s most recent sponsorship event with NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation by clicking here.