Volunteer with meals at the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile, AL

Chapters Have a Response to COVID-19: Make Donations to Nonprofits

Mar 23, 20213/23/2021


When COVID-19 stopped the Ronald McDonald House Mobile, in Mobile, AL, from providing home-cooked meals for the families staying there, WoodmenLife Chapter 1 in Mobile stepped in. It was donations to nonprofits like these that helped carve out bright spots in a challenging year.

This chapter in southern Alabama is no stranger to the Ronald McDonald House, as it has often hosted fundraisers to benefit the 38-room residence. The location provides families a place to stay while their children undergo care at nearby hospitals.

“When I call Mr. Skipper (Chapter 1 President Roger Skipper), he asks what we need,” said Ronald McDonald House Assistant Director Liz Calci. “Then, he says, ‘Let me see what I can do.’”

What this chapter did this time was donate $3,000 as part of the WoodmenLife COVID-19 Relief Challenge, which asked chapters across the country to give to local groups affected by the pandemic. The challenge was a way for WoodmenLife to show how we can make a difference when we work together — even when separated.

Donations to Nonprofits In Need

Before COVID-19, groups cooked meals at the Ronald McDonald House kitchen, with the goal of providing a “home away from home, right down to the smells,” Calci said. Now, pandemic restrictions prohibit people from coming in to cook, so the residence found other ways to bring in a taste of home.

The residence is using Chapter 1’s donation to bring in homey boxed dinners from a local caterer on the first Thursday of every month. Calci said she expects the donation to last for 11 months.

“That’ll be our night — WoodmenLife Night — to feed the group,” Skipper said.

“We are so fortunate that people like WoodmenLife care enough to donate to these families,” Calci said. “They’re going through so much, and this is one thing they don’t have to worry about.”

Eager to help

Skipper said it was a no-brainer for Chapter 1 to help. During phone calls before the donation, there were comments from members like, “Anytime you want to do something for them, we want to make it happen.”

Another member comment came from a pastor. He said: “I’m not supposed to be proud, but when you see one of those little kids look up at you, you know you’ve done something to help them through this.”

Skipper followed up with his own assessment of his chapter’s able assistance. “Any time you do something for someone, it’s mind-boggling,” he said, “how much it can positively affect a person’s life.”

Good News From Across the U.S.

Elsewhere in the country, more WoodmenLife chapters made a difference where they could by making donations to nonprofits in need.

  • Chapter 5 in North Little Rock, AR, donated to a local senior center’s COVID-19 unit. It cannot borrow anything, like games, puzzles and crafts, from the main unit. So the center is using Chapter 5’s donation to stock those shelves.
  • In southeastern Texas, Chapter 3147 in Chute and Chapter 4450 in Angleton donated to the Brazoria County Dream Center to buy food for people who’ve lost jobs. In Crockett, Chapter 4652 donated to Good Shepherd Fellowship to cover transportation costs to haul collected food for people affected by COVID-19. Chapter 3060 in Bellville donated to a local hospital foundation to help buy personal protective equipment.
  • Chapter 148 in Hartwell and Chapter 310 in LaFayette in northern Georgia donated to domestic abuse shelters to help them buy additional cleaning and sanitizing equipment.

These are just a snapshot of the efforts of the WoodmenLife family. Visit WoodmenLife.org/Lead-and-Give/Chapters to see how else WoodmenLife chapters help make a difference in their communities and give donations to nonprofits in need.

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