July 18 2014 12:53PM
In the summer, hockey talk can be slow around these parts. Since we have more time on our hands, we wanted to find a way to get more involved with the city we live in. Today marks another step in the Nation's commitment to giving back to our community. Today we announce a partnership between the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta and OilersNation.
On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to be invited to Ronald McDonald House to meet the First Lady of Edmonton and find out what Ronald McDonald House is all about. Honestly, I had a basic idea of what the Ronald McDonald House does, but I really didn't understand their importance to the surrounding communities. Luckily, Jen Scrivens is a fantastic host and she left us with a better understanding of what they do and how OilersNation can help.
A CONVERSATION WITH THE FIRST LADY
Jen and I had conversation about what Edmonton, how she got involved with Ronald McDonald House, and what you can do to help - check it out:
baggedmilk: You've been in Edmonton since roughly February, what are your thoughts on the community so far?
Jen Scrivens: I’m so impressed with how welcoming and receptive the community has been to me as a newcomer and to Ben who has returned to his hometown. Everyone has helped me feel right at home.
BM: A lot of us are born and raised in Edmonton, but don't really know what the Ronald McDonald House does. If you were to sum it up, what is the Ronald McDonald House?
JS: It’s an organization that takes care of families who relocate to care for a sick or injured child. Edmonton has several renowned hospitals, so people travel from all over Alberta and western Canada to receive treatment. Often, they’re given no indication how long they will be away from home. Hotel bills add up quickly, so we provide a temporary home away from home for not only the child, but their families too. Staying with us at the Ronald McDonald House takes that stress away so parents can focus on taking care of their child.
BM: How did you get involved?
JS: Ben and I volunteered at the House in Toronto a couple years ago. We were like a lot of people- we had heard about the Ronald McDonald Houses but didn’t really know what they did and what services they provided. I was very impressed; and when Ben was traded to Edmonton this season, I thought it would be a good time to make this transition in my career to the non-profit sector. Once he signed a new contract, I started looking and stumbled upon this position. I came in for an interview and was sold- I didn’t even apply to another job.
BM: Why was it important to you to get involved?
JS: I’ve always enjoyed giving back in every city we live in. With my experience in communications, I really wanted to merge those two passions and see what could happen. This role has been so much for me, in fact most days it hardly feels like work. Probably the best part is seeing the immediate impact of everything we do, and that has a lot do with the fact that our offices are right inside the House. Ben thinks I get to play games with the kids all day, and some days that’s not far from the truth.
BM: For those who can, what is the best way for our readers get involved?
JS: Come visit! There’s always someone here to give you a tour, which is the best way to find out how you can help fill a need. Then I suggest scheduling a day to cook dinner for the families. This is how I first got involved in Toronto, and it’s the best way to see the value of the Ronald McDonald Houses. Families can spend all day at the hospital with their child, and coming home to a home-cooked meal is a small luxury that means a lot to them.
A PARTNERSHIP IS BORN
One of the things that Jen mentioned to us was their need for help spreading the word. Even though Ronald McDonald House is a well known charity, I bet there are still a lot of you that are like me and aren't really sure what goes on there - this is where we can help. Luckily, the Nation is in a position where we attract a large amount of traffic, regardless of how the team is doing, and so we thought the right thing to do is to help them spread the word.
After spending only a couple hours at the House, and meeting a few kids, it was very obvious how much this place means to the families. Going forward from here, OilersNation will be helping the Ronald McDonald House promote their events and raise awareness for the cause. I was endlessly impressed with the people, the kids, and the House itself. If you can go for a visit, please do. If you can help in any way, we encourage you to do so.
We're very happy to be partnering with Ronald McDonald House and Jen Scrivens to promote this great charity. We're also thankful for the support the Nation has given us with all our charity related events. You guys always come through for us, and we hope you'll continue to support our quest to give back to the community around us.