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Intergenites helping an organisation close to their hearts…

In 2015 one of our own got some very tough news which meant their family lived in Ronald McDonald Houses throughout New Zealand for the better part of a year. In the words of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC): “Our Houses are a home away from home for Kiwi families, providing a safe haven to retreat to after a long day on the hospital ward.” It was then very surprising to hear stories from multiple other Intergenites who have used the fantastic services provided by RMHC in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. 

Intergenites around the country were at a loss for how to help our friend in need and so the Wellington Intergen Social committee contacted RMHC for ideas on how we could give back, on our colleague’s behalf. Christine, a fantastic volunteer coordinator at RMHC, advised us that coming in and either cooking dinner for the guests or doing mass baking for the residents is a huge help. To our great and happy surprise cooking dinner was booked out until the New Year! What a great community this ‘best little capital in the world’ is!

On Saturday 26 September 2015, a lovely bunch of Intergenites and their families arrived in Newtown armed with enough ingredients, paid for by our Social Club members with that month’s budget, to make huge quantities of chocolate brownie, chocolate oat slice, toll house cookies and scones and by the end of the four hours we had filled their freezers with 25 ice cream containers full of baking. We also put out fresh scones, jam and cream, allowing us to meet and chat with a few of the very appreciative families that came to have a snack and a chat.

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: The Intergen crew and all their baking efforts
The Intergen crew and all their baking efforts

When we sent out our email for volunteers to come with us and help Intergen replied very generously by matching the amount Intergenites and the Social Club contributed, enabling us to buy a bucket load of cool toys to donate. RMHC want to make the children it looks after feel like they are at home and gifts every child staying with a present on their birthday and at Christmas and need these types of donations to keep that going. 

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: presents for children
Presents bought by Intergen for Ronald McDonald House Wellington guests

Soon after our baking trip, in October, Intergenites got the opportunity to help out again with “Show your Stripes #forRMHC” and buy their red and white striped socks. If you ever need new socks these are fabulous, so long and cosy! 

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: Show your stripes
Intergenites in their “Show your Strips #forRMHC” socks

The beginning of 2016 brought the Entertainment Book marketers to our Wellington office. I sat down with them and heard all about the fundraising opportunities they offer. Intergen agreed this would be fantastic to raise money for RMHC, with 20% of every book sold donated to the sellers designated cause, this was too greater opportunity to miss. Intergenites and their friends and families bought around 40 books in support for this great cause and Katy Sweetman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Intergen, was able to present a $454 cheque to the Wellington RMH General Manager, Nikki later in the year. 

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: Katy Sweetman presenting funds raised by Intergen
Katy Sweetman, Intergen, presenting funds raised by selling Entertainment Books for RMHC to Nikki Thompson, RMHW.

The social club also continued their new annual tradition in 2016 and returned to Ronald McDonald House Wellington on Saturday 8 October with a troupe of Intergenites, including CEO Simon Bright, to bake and fill the freezers with goodies again. They had a fantastic morning and again loved putting out fresh baking and chatting to the residents that were in the house that morning.

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: Intergen volunteers
The 2016 baking volunteer group from Intergen.

These houses really are fantastic places, giving families a little comfort and peace of mind during one of the toughest times of their lives! Lucy Bentley and I were honoured to be invited to the Wellington Ronald McDonald House 25th birthday party in November, celebrating the first house built in New Zealand. We heard stories from the founder’s family, people who have been volunteering from the time it first opened its doors and residents that were at the house while the party was happening. What a celebration it was with cake, face painting, nibbles, drinks, speeches and teddy bears for all, to give to a special little someone in our lives that deserves some love!

Ronald McDonald House Wellington: Bre Mudge and Lucy Bentley
Myself and Lucy Bentley from Intergen at the Ronald McDonald House Wellington 25th Birthday party

I can’t wait for all the opportunities 2017 will have to offer to help out RMHC again. An Intergen team has entered the PwC Foundation Charity Relay in February which donates to four worthy charities, including RMHC. I am completing a half marathon in February which I am also raising money for three charities, including RMHC and we will be entering another round of Entertainment book selling!

Two years ago when we started helping out, even with our small efforts, I never realised the satisfaction and pride it would give myself and other Intergenites to get involved in something so worthwhile!

Posted by: Breanna Mudge, Marketing & Communications Coordinator | 12 December 2016

Tags: Community, Ronald McDonald House

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