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Serving-up Food for the Soul
April 10, 2019
Balfour Beatty's California team recently volunteered for the San Diego Chapter of the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), marking it as the 6th consecutive year. Balfour Beatty teammates chopped veggies, flipped tortillas and bonded over tacos while serving lunch to the amazing families at the facility!
In San Diego, the RMH started in a small 8-bedroom dwelling that operated primarily as a bed and breakfast, servicing families with young cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital. With space becoming limited and an increasing need for their services, the charity received a unique opportunity – to build a 47-guest suite facility on the top deck of a parking structure adjacent to the Rady’s Children Hospital.
The RMH is a cause close to the hearts of our teammates. In 2009, Balfour Beatty constructed the new facility at cost for the charity and has since made it a mission to return and volunteer every year in continued support of the heart and sweat that poured into this project. Division President, Brian Cahill, has also served as a board member for almost 20 years!
The new facility, located directly across from the Hospital, makes commuting between the RMH and the hospital easier for the families already enduring immense hardship. The change in location brought the charity closer to its mission than ever before: “To provide “home-away-from-home” for families with children being treated for serious, often life-threatening conditions at local hospitals.”
In addition to serving lunch at the house, Balfour Beatty participates in several events servicing the RMH charity efforts including their annual red shoe day, kidstruction day, and other fundraisers held throughout the year.
At this year’s lunch service, volunteers Erica Frandsen, Kaitlin Kallal, Lyudmila “Luda” Safransky, Ariale Montgomery, Ben “Big Tiki” King, Jesse Schmitt, Jake Jaenicke, Margo Kennedy, Teresa D'Adamo, Paul Valdez headed over to cook and serve food for families of children that need long-term hospital care. Safety Manager Donnie Luster, who served as superintendent on the construction project, continues to be a core member of the volunteer group, holding a motive near and dear to his heart as a parent that spent many nights traveling back and forth to the hospital to be by his daughter’s side.
First time volunteer for RMH Charities, Big Tiki, reflects on his experience saying “I believe in and appreciate what they stand for and ALL that they do for the kids and their families.”
With Erica, Teresa, and Margo preparing the produce, Kaitlin elbow deep in a comically large bowl of guacamole, Jesse and Jake taking on the dishes, and Luda, Ariale, Big Tiki, and Donnie Luster dishing out food and laughs, our volunteers served over 200 people.
Serving lunch will continue to be a volunteer event near and dear to the hearts of Balfour Beatty. Look for more information and ways to get involved with this charity and other charities throughout the year!