by 1st Lt. Jennifer Proctor
138th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/2/2015 - TULSA, Okla. -- Members
from the Oklahoma Air National Guard's 138th Fighter Wing here
volunteered March 29 at the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House.
Ten Airmen disassembled several old beds and then assembled and
installed new ones at the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House for families with
seriously ill children while those children receive medical care in
Before the Oklahoma Airmen installed the new beds, each room at the
Tulsa Ronald McDonald House could only accommodate two people. Often,
air mattresses were used to supplement families with other children and
this wasn't acceptable to the house staff.
After hearing about the lack of bed space, TempurPedic stepped up and
donated 22 beds to the Tulsa house. Then, it was up to the house staff
and Air Guard volunteers to assemble and install them.
Master Sgt. Matt Wilson, a member of the138th Civil Engineering
Squadron, was contacted by the Ronald McDonald House, an organization
that he has volunteered with for more than a year and a half, and asked
to help with the installation of the new beds.
"They asked me to help and I knew that other Airmen would want to help
as well," said Wilson "Guardsmen not only serve our country, but also
serve our communities. It's important to give something back."
The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that gives family members
with seriously ill children a place to stay that's close to the hospital
where the child is being treated. The house is completely dependent
upon donations and even though an occupied room actually costs $80 a
night, the house only requests $10 a night from the families. If a
family can't afford $10, there is no need to worry.
"We never turn a family away if they can't afford it," said Mary
Gregory, house manager. "We are always open; because hospitals don't
close, we don't close."
The Gaddy family has been staying at the facility for more than a month since their twin girls were born prematurely.
"This place has been great. I don't know what we would have done driving
two hours each way, every day," said Sarah Gaddy, the twin's mother.
The twin sisters have two older brothers that are ready to have their
parents and baby sisters' home with them as well. The Gaddys are just
one of the approximately 630 families that have stayed at the facility
this past year.