Ronald McDonald House
By RMHC–HI Staff
Let’s shine the Volunteer Spotlight on six incredibly talented mothers: Sherri Cohen, Sandra Edwards, Tess Green, Traci Nobrega, Tari Perry, and Patricia Sampson–all friends who live in Hawaii Kai. The group, which calls itself Team Kelsey, began volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in 2007. They are dedicating their service in memory of a young girl named Kelsey Wise, whose struggles began when she was born more than two months prematurely, and continued until she passed away at age 15, on July 26, 2007. What Team Kelsey does for families here at the Ronald McDonald House is from their heart and soul.
Since beginning their work at the Ronald McDonald House, these extraordinary volunteers have been a blessing, and their contributions now include house cleaning; sponsoring lunches and dinners; baking a variety of goods; quilt making; arts and crafts; working at the Ronald McDonald House Family Room; and dedicating their time and energy to the annual RMHC– HI Golf Classic.
“Team Kelsey is not just a name,” says Tari. “We preserve the memory of Kelsey by performing the things that she loved in life. I feel that everything we do is the work of Kelsey. She loved seeing these beautiful quilts and colors and I know she will have a quilt waiting for me when I arrive in Heaven to be with her someday. She liked baking and celebrating the different holidays.”
During Kelsey’s illness, Tari, who is Kelsey’s aunt, stayed at four Ronald McDonald Houses: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. “The Ronald McDonald Houses were so beautiful. We felt so much at home and everything was well supplied,” she says. “My sister, her husband, and I would sleep on a rotating basis. I slept in a chair next to Kelsey while my sister slept at the Ronald McDonald House. There was always someone with Kelsey by her side.”
Obviously, Tari has a unique perspective, having experienced much of what current families staying at the House have. She says she will never forget how much it helped to have a home–away–from–home during her time of need. “It’s not always easy what we do, nor to see all these beautiful children going through so much, but in the end, itis so worth it!”