Family Stories

Rookie of the Year Goes Above and Beyond

Mary Williams is a native Memphian with a heart for healing. Before becoming a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis in August of last year, she worked for 42 years as a nurse. 

Williams decided to become a volunteer when she was at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis for an event. After talking to Jim Byrd, a personal friend and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis board member, she told him, “This is where I need to be.” This year Williams was named Rookie of the Year at the Annual Volunteer Banquet. 

Williams is a people person and loves being around families. “Just knowing that I’m coming here to the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis is motivation enough to get me out of bed in the morning even when I don’t want to get up,” she said. 

Williams did not expect the Rookie of the Year award because she was a very new volunteer. “I was totally shocked! They kept that hidden!”  Williams laughed. Deenean Wilson-Henderson, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis Volunteer and Program Manager, cited different instances Williams had gone above and beyond. Wilson-Henderson told the guests of a time when Williams drove to Ronald McDonald House despite the rain, snow and ice. 

Williams explained that she came in to work despite the snow and ice on the road because she had worked in a hospital. “If your shift was at 7 a.m., you better start traveling at 3 a.m. so you can be there because patients cannot take care of themselves,” she said. 

For every encounter she has with a patient or family, Williams uses that short amount of time to make sure that they get whatever they need. “For that little moment they feel like you really care, so you go beyond the call of duty,” Williams said.    

Learn how you can start volunteering

Posted by John Parie at 11:48 AM
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