2018 Volunteer of the Year: Cheney Hu

Cheney Hu has been a Ronald McDonald House volunteer at Texas Children’s Hospital since 2008.  During this time, he’s given over 910 hours of service, most of which on Friday nights after working his full-time job! He is very dependable, always on time, and willing to help out in any way he can.  Even in the midst of dealing with Harvey-related damage to his home, he’s continued to faithfully give his time and energy to Ronald McDonald House.  He serves our families with compassion and always has a smile when he greets them.  Cheney’s calm, friendly disposition brings peace to even the most stressful situations.  Truly a team player, he picks up substitute shifts frequently, even with short notice when last minute cancellations occur.

Cheney also volunteered to be a mentor for incoming volunteers for the past year since the volunteer trainer program’s debut.  While sharing his shift with new volunteers on many occasions, he takes care to ensure new volunteers feel welcomed, knowledgeable, and equipped for success.  The attention he gives to new volunteers is especially helpful during this season of growth at RMH TCH.  He has never complained to staff about hosting an abundance of trainings– in fact, he’s commented on what a privilege it is and how glad he is that we have so many people interested in volunteering.  It is a pleasure to announce Cheney Hu as RMH Houston Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteers of the Month


Holcombe House – Noelle Cunningham
Noelle is an amazing team player! She is up for any task and will do it all with a huge smile. When asked if she could make the dinner announcement recently, she admitted she was shy; however, she conquered her fear and did it anyways! There are many reasons why she is an excellent choice for the volunteer of the month. We are so grateful to have her a part of the Holcombe House family!


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – April Darling
April is such a great supporter of RMH Houston! She is always here to help whenever we need her, and she’s a fantastic help to us. Her RMH knowledge is amazing, and she’s so kind when touring new families and telling them all about the services available to them through the House. April often donates supplies to us and has even hosted a meal for our families. We are so thankful she chooses to volunteer with Ronald McDonald House at Texas Children’s Hospital!


Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Torria Williams
Torria has such a gentle and sweet disposition when interacting with the patients and their families, she always goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone who visits our areas are made to feel at home! Her natural and beautiful smile is often the topic of conversation amongst the parents, with one mom voicing to me that Torria’s smile kept her from breaking down. Mom shared that one day she was so overwhelmed with worry and uncertainty and when she came into the kitchen, Torria didn’t say a word, she simply stood up, opened the door for mom and smiled at her. Mom stated that the sincerity of that smile, the love in that smile, made her feel like she didn’t have to cry, as she realized she wasn’t alone. With her beautiful smile, no words needed, our amazing volunteer conveyed empathy, support and love for this particular mom.


Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – April Case
April is a delight to have as a volunteer. She is always prepared to work and asking if there is anything else that she can help with. April always asks for feedback on her performance to ensure that she is doing the best job possible to help RMH at Children’s Memorial Hermann run as smoothly as needed. So for these reasons, and many more, April is not only the perfect candidate for volunteer of the month, but always.


Holcombe House – Angel Campos
Angel Campos has been using Holcombe House as a father for almost 16 years. In addition to supporting his own family, he consistently gives a listening ear to other families, and asks to help out the staff during each trip to Houston.  Since convincing him to start tracking his volunteer hours in 2016, he’s logged over 820 hours of maintenance help.  Throughout the construction the past several months, he’s been graciously helping operations and maintenance staff move furniture and reorganize spaces all over the House, even while laughing and smiling the whole time.   Angel is also very helpful being available for our evening House Managers after many of the daytime staff leave for the day.  His cheerful spirit and giving presence is incredible and much appreciated.  We’d like to nominate Angel for the Holcombe House February Volunteer of the Month for always being there for his family, other Holcombe House families, and the Ronald McDonald House staff.


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Amber Egbetola
Amber is amazing!  She volunteers at least once every week, and she’s picked up extra substitute shifts to help us more times than we can count.  She goes above and beyond to help serve our RMH Houston families – she’s even taking Spanish lessons!  She was a lifesaver the day after Hurricane Harvey, when most of our other volunteers cancelled – she spent the entire day here and volunteered 12 hours that day!  Amber takes great care of the family rooms and make sure the kitchens are spotless and well stocked.  She’s a great part of our team and we’re thankful for the kindness and helpfulness she shows RMH families!


Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital  – Barbara Caracciolo
From the moment Barbara walks in to our RMFR Kitchen to volunteer, she is smiling!  The families and patients look forward to the days Barbara volunteers.  They love to visit the kitchen to get some of her delicious, freshly baked cookies! (Always served with a smile!)  Barbara does not limit herself at supporting and serving the patients and their families to the days she is scheduled to volunteer, rather, she faithfully gathers goodies and gifts to distribute to the kids on special occasions.  She has been instrumental in assisting with special activities not held on her assigned volunteer days.  Her heart is bigger than Texas and in that magnitude, she loves and supports everyone at our location, including the staff.  We count it a blessing that Barbara is part of our team.  We are most grateful for her sweet and humble demeanor and her giving, generous and empathetic heart!


Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Emily Murdock
Emily Murdock is a Wednesday evening Junior League volunteer. Emily comes in for her shift ready to work and eager to help the families and staff with whatever is needed. She is polite and patient with the families, which is especially needed considering what the families are going through. Emily is has a quiet, peaceful strength, and prepared for any task given. When Emily even thinks that she may run behind, schedule she always calls to inform the manager on duty of her arrival.  For these and many other reasons, we are submitting Emily for Ronald McDonald House Children’s Memorial Hermann Volunteer of the Month.


Holcombe House – Amy Hickey
Amy has been an incredible volunteer at Holcombe House for four years and served over 200 hours!  Her smiles and laughter help families feel at home and relieved in the midst of stressful situations.  She is very helpful to staff as well, always asking what she can do and willing to tackle any task.  We appreciate Amy sharing her joy with all of us!  For these reasons and many more, Amy Hickey is our nomination for Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month.


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Tori Colomo
Tori will be so missed by our staff, volunteers, and families.  She is an incredible cookie baker, and she has cheered so many Ronald McDonald House families by making a total of over 3,000 cookies!  She’s happy to pick up sub shifts whenever we need her, and she even fills in on Thursdays if another baker is out, so she can make sure we’re still able to serve the families cookies on Pizza Day.  Tori is also wonderful at setting up the bedrooms for naptime families, and has been so helpful by sorting donations and feeding the fish.  She’s become great at checking families out of their overnight rooms and she keeps the kitchen and sitting areas spotless.  She has made many friends here at RMH, encouraged so many parents, and seeing her smile in the House is the best part of our Wednesdays!


Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Sarah Harris
Sarah Harris is a great volunteer!  Sarah comes in with a smile and will frequently asks what she can do to help. She is eager to help and assist the families in any way possible.   Days that Sarah is present for “Bingo Night”, she makes the activity enjoyable for our patients and their families. Sarah will graciously sit with families that are not familiar with Bingo, and assist them during the activity.  You can see the families feel at ease when she joins them. Sarah also bakes and delivers cookies to our families, which is something they look forward to every time. We are very pleased to have Sarah as a volunteer here at Ronald McDonald Family Room inside MD Anderson.  We could not do what we do without volunteers like her!

Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Katherine Butler
Katherine Butler is an excellent volunteer! We are excited each time we know her shift is coming up. She is thoughtful and kind with our families. She is responsible and has an excellent work ethic. On Wednesday evenings when we have Pizza Night, Katherine serves each piece of pizza with a warm smile and greeting. This type of warmth and kindness cannot be taught.  We are very grateful to have her genuine, caring nature here with us at Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital!


Holcombe House – Thalia Aguirre
Thalia has been an incredible RMH Houston volunteer at Holcombe House since February of 2015.  During her three years of volunteering, she has given over 180 hours of her time to serve our families.  Her smile lights up a room and her patient compassion gives ease to families in stressful situations.  Thalia is consistent in her attendance and cheerful in demeanor.  She eagerly agrees to any task asked of her.  Her observant, perceptive nature allows her to read people well, and then offer to help with needs they may not even be saying out loud.  She stays one step ahead and graciously looks for opportunities to serve.  We are thankful to have Thalia and pleased to select her as our April 2018 Holcombe House Volunteer of the Month!


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital- Angela Martinez
Angela is super sweet and so helpful with families! She’s always on time and ready to serve others on Saturday mornings. Angela is part of our Volunteer Trainer team, and her patience with new volunteers and her enthusiasm for RMH make her an excellent trainer!  Her calm demeanor and warm, inviting personality makes families feel welcome as soon as they enter our House.  We are thankful for Angela’s dedication to RMH Houston and proud to nominate her as the April RMH at TCH Volunteer of the Month!


Ronald McDonald Family Room MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Justin Tang
Justin is a fantastic volunteer!  He works independently and always takes initiative.  Moreover, his work is thorough and he pays attention to details, making it great quality.  He is always early and gets right to work without needing reminders or prompting from staff.  This is especially helpful since he comes during the busy first shift of the day!  His enthusiasm to serve is contagious.  Our families feel well cared for due to his presence in our RMH Family Room program inside MD Anderson.

Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Rachel Barnes
Rachel is always willing to take on any task given to her, even if it is baking cookies. She comes during a class break ready to tackle the lounges and linen packets. Rachel always has a smile on her face while doing any task asked of her. We are pleased to have her and appreciate her warmth and compassion when interacting with our families.  For these reasons and many more, Rachel is our Volunteer of the Month at Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital!


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Leah LeCompte
We’re so thankful for Leah’s years of support!  She is so warm and friendly with new families and does a great job of giving thorough tours and answer all their questions.  She’s a great team player and our other volunteers all look forward to days when they get to work with her.  Leah works hard to make plenty of linen packets for us and makes sure all the bedrooms are set up perfectly for naptime.  She’s also just joined our team of volunteer trainers and she’s been so patient and helpful to our new volunteers.  Leah always comes in early to help as much as she possibly can, and we are grateful for her thoughtfulness and compassion!


Ronald McDonald Family Room MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Dania Almosuli
Dania’s amazing and gentle spirit speaks volumes as to her heart for serving others.  From the moment she arrives until her shift is over, Dania exhibits a welcoming and inclusive demeanor towards all.  Although she is quiet and shy, there is never a question of where her heart is, as she makes sure that all who come into our areas feel welcomed.  Because she fluently speaks Arabic, we have received so much positive feedback from families who feel a connection with her and are thankful that she volunteers with Ronald McDonald Family Room at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.  Last but not least, she bakes some awesome chocolate chip cookies that the patients and their families love!


Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Claudia Olivas
Claudia can brighten up any room with her smile and it is contagious. She is kind and thoughtful towards our families and hospital partners. She is easy to be around and makes Ronald McDonald House at CMHH stronger with her joy and work ethic. She in an incredibly hard worker and we are so grateful to have her on our team. Claudia is dedicated and helps to make us a better home away from home for our families. Thank you, Claudia!


Holcombe House – Rebecca Fieler
We can count on Rebecca to show up ready to work with a smile. She’s an integral part of the volunteer team at Holcombe House, making Sunday evenings run smoothly when there could be chaos and productive when there is down time. She has taken ownership of tasks to complete during her shift to prep the House for the following week, so consistently that staff sometimes forget to complete those tasks on weeks when she’s not scheduled!  She even took it upon herself to update and reorganize the restaurant list we give to families – confirming ordering and delivery options, ranking by type of food and price point.  All the while, Rebecca’s smile and enthusiasm is a big encouragement to our families, co-volunteers, and staff!


Ronald McDonald House inside Texas Children’s Hospital – Carol Taylor
Carol is an amazing volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Texas Children’s Hospital!  She is so kind and compassionate when talking with our families and patients on the Oncology floors, and she shows so much attention to detail while keeping the family rooms perfectly clean and well-stocked.  She’s always happy to stay later and lend a hand if we need last-minute help with Pizza Day.  Carol is also a recent addition to our Volunteer Trainer team, and we’re thankful for the time she devotes to making sure new volunteers feel comfortable and are excellent representatives of RMH!  Carol is joy to be around and we are so happy that she’s part of our team!


Ronald McDonald Family Room MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital – Nevin Thomas
Nevin has been volunteering for a year and a half and has generously given over 60 hours of his valuable weekend time!  Nevin shows up ready to help out in any manner needed and looks for things to do to contribute to the success of our Family Room program at MD Anderson.  Even when he mistakenly showed up off-schedule, he stayed to help since he saw there was need!  Nevin is polite, welcoming, and down to earth.   He deserves this recognition because he shows to be understanding of the medical field, different adversities, and struggles people may have.  This empathy helps our families feel at home and at ease.  Thank you for serving with a compassionate smile, Nevin!


Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – Stephanie Lex
Stephanie has been a steady substitute volunteer for 4 years with Ronald McDonald House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.  Stephanie is always willing to help out with our filing and paperwork. Stephanie has a smile on her face while helping our families and answering questions. It is a pleasure watching Stephanie help our families, while remembering to do so with care and compassion. Choosing Stephanie for June’s Volunteer of the Month took little effort because she takes care of our families and honors her commitment as a sub volunteer so well!

View Previous Accolades:
2017 Volunteers
2016 Volunteers
2015 Volunteers