Volunteer’s Love of Books Brings Joy to Families

Meet Cathy Kaufman, a friendly former librarian with over 20 years of experience who decided to utilize her skills to help guest families incorporate reading into their care. Once a month, Cathy sets up in the dining room during breakfast and
shares a story with anyone who wishes to listen. Following the story, she organizes a craft activity to complement the narrative. While the idea is simple, the goal is to provide a moment of respite from the daily stresses of hospital life and to share the joy of storytelling and crafts.

“I approach the families as they come into breakfast—at the Ronald McDonald House, you need to meet people where they are,” said Cathy. Cathy began her initiative over the summer and hoped that it would benefit guest children, but she didn’t realize how beneficial it would be to their parents. She expressed how she came to understand that entertaining the siblings of a sick child can be difficult for parents.

“I love doing it because it gives people a break, a diversion from whatever heaviness is on their minds. No matter what you’re doing in life, sharing a book is an easy way to help others relax. It’s just a positive experience all around,” said Cathy.

Cathy hopes to continue her visits to the House for many months to come.

“Guest families are under a lot of stress, and it’s heartbreaking to see what they are dealing with. However, being at the House provides a sense of community and warmth. You feel good about helping these families in any way. I get back as much as I’m giving. People need people!” said Cathy.

Volunteers are the heart of the House! From preparing meals to driving our vans, our volunteers transform the House into a home. If you would like to volunteer, visit www.RMHCphilly.org/Volunteer.