In February—prior to COVID-19—members of the Extra Space Storage management team based in Marlton, NJ, had a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community. Coordinated by Human Resources Manager Gwen Baker, the team arrived at Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey in Camden, NJ, just before 7:30 a.m. with the intent of serving breakfast to hungry families.
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. The organization provides resources for families that allow them to seek medical care for their children without the worry of additional emotional and financial burdens. One such resource the organization offers for the families they assist is regular meals. That’s where the Extra Space Storage team recently lended a hand.
“Gwen Baker had volunteered with other groups to make meals for families dealing with being away from their homes and with very sick children before, and it was an easy way to show that others care about them in their situation,” said Mike James, District Vice President, who was among the volunteers.
The team worked together to get breakfast out to the local chapter’s families by 8:30 a.m. Alex Engel and Dan Smith worked on the breakfast meats; Mike James and Gwen Baker made French toast; Alexis Disabato prepared eggs; Julie O’Toole created a fruit bowl; and Troy Nickum and Gary Castorino got everything set up for the families.
“This is the first time the division office has gotten together to do this, but I see this as a good start to continue volunteering, in addition to the charity team-building activities we often do at our annual national sales meeting,” explained James.
A high point for the Extra Space Storage team was when one of the mothers at the Southern New Jersey chapter expressed how grateful she was for their help. The mother explained that her son, who was receiving medical care, was a picky eater and hadn’t eaten breakfast in about three weeks, but he actually ate breakfast that morning because the team had prepared several items he enjoyed. Another great moment the team recalled was when a little girl who was about 3 years old came over to the group as they were cleaning up. She hugged each person individually and thanked them for the breakfast.
“The best part for me about volunteering as a team was the satisfaction of working hard together to help others in need,” added James. “We also got a tour of the Ronald McDonald House, and the appreciation we received from the families and staff was overwhelmingly positive.”
Learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities and how you can get involved to help families across the U.S.