Guest Blogger: Jonathan Dismukes of the Red Shoe KREWE

As each one of you contemplates joining the Ronald McDonald House's Red Shoe Krewe, you might wonder what it really is. Or what might be the benefit of being a part of this organization. For me, it started out as an volunteer opportunity presented during my school's afternoon announcements.

I had been looking for a community organization to join, mainly for the sake of increasing my number of service hours to help strengthen that future resume for college applications. The job description seemed simple enough. Monthly meetings, a few major events throughout the year, throw in a Family Meal here and there, and you are set. In fact, you might be thinking the exact same thing now. But boy, I was wrong.

From the first meeting to when I will wrap up my two years of involvement at the end of this school year, the Red Shoe Krewe will have been a life-altering experience filled with the pleasure of knowing that all the work that I have done has positively affected each one of the families that have stayed at the House while I have volunteered. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it is tough. It's hard to make a meeting on a week-day when you are in the middle of schoolwork and sports. It's difficult to give up those few Saturdays when you would rather be enjoying time with your friends. However, it's knowing that your sacrifice is providing for those who are unable to dedicate their own time to the simple things.

With their child in the hospital, they forget about what they want or need and focus on the well-being of their son or daughter. That's where we, as the Red Shoe Krewe, come in. We are one of the many contributing organizations from around the city that allows those families to forget everything else that needs to happen so they can be with their children. Dinner? It's prepared when you get back to the House. Payment for the room? It's covered, unless you can pay the suggested $12 per night room contribution.

Thank goodness each one of us aren't in the situation that they find themselves in, but we sure can make it easier for them as a result. So, as you consider whether or not you wish to join the Red Shoe Krewe, don't think about what benefits might be involved for you. Sure you might pad that resume, meet new friends, or fulfill that school requirement of so many service hours, but the most beneficial experience comes in knowing that you have made a difference in someone's life. Go ahead, fill out that form, send it in, and see what differences you can make as a part of the Ronald McDonald House's Red Shoe Krewe!

Jonathan Dismukes is a senior at Cottage Hill Christian Academy and serves as the 2013 - 2014 President of the Red Shoe KREWE of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile. Applications for the 2014 - 2015 Red Shoe KREWE are available on-line now, and must be submitted by Tuesday, March 25th.

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