WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College Student Ambassadors presented an $1,800-check to the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina this month to wrap up their annual service project.
The students, who exceeded their original fundraising goal through various drawings and donations from the community, presented a check to Meghan King, house manager of the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville, on Dec. 8.
King said the local charitable organization, which is located near Vidant Medical Center, is always appreciative of the community’s generosity.
“The PCC Student Ambassadors’ continued support and the compassion they put into every step of it helps us … continue our mission of providing a home away from home for all of our families here in Eastern North Carolina,” she said.
King says the local Ronald McDonald House served 610 families of seriously ill or injured children from 39 different Eastern North Carolina counties in 2013 by giving them a place to stay while their children received treatment at nearby medical facilities. She said the organization’s true mission is to “provide the gift of togetherness” to families.
“I believe a Ronald McDonald House is important in this area because we have an ever-growing medical community that needs a place to help provide a home-like setting for families that travel from hours away to be close to their hospitalized child,” King said. “I am very close with my family, and I know for a fact that being together with your loved ones has true healing powers and can help you tackle most anything.”
PCC Student Ambassador Leeza King says ambassadors selected the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina as their service project because they wanted to help a local organization. She also pointed out that an ambassadors advisor had received support from the organization when her child was sick.
Now in her second year with as an ambassador, Leeza King said the service project showed her the importance of supporting her community.
“We may not have always felt like we were doing a lot—since we weren’t interacting with the families—but we were doing behind-the-scenes work by raising money that could help someone with a meal or gas card,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference.”
A nursing student, Leeza King says she has seen firsthand the struggles families go through in making decisions about medical care for their loved ones.
“It is not an easy thing to do,” she says, “so it is nice to know that we have services out there like the Ronald McDonald House. It’s important for people in the community to remember that when they volunteer or give money to the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina, they are helping out families in need and putting smiles on their faces during a difficult time.”
Ashley Smith, PCC Development and Alumni Services Director and a Student Ambassadors advisor, says the community service component of the ambassador program encourages and teaches the students good citizenship.
“We are training these outstanding people to be community leaders and to identify causes they are passionate about to improve the communities in which they live,” she said.
PCC ambassadors are selected annually through an application and interview process conducted each spring. Those chosen for the program receive scholarships from the PCC Foundation to attend Pitt.
In return, ambassadors conduct campus tours, recruit, and assist with school-related events and activities. They must also perform weekly service hours and maintain a 3.0 grade point average or better.