Ronald McDonald House Charities provides housing for families with children receiving medical care from local hospitals, acting as a home away from home.
The non-profit’s Eastern Wisconsin house just broke ground on their latest expansion project. This expansion includes 14 guest rooms, a new kitchen, a large playroom, a community room, and much more. Opening in Spring 2022, this new long-term wing will support families who stay at the house for 60 days or longer.
Acting as the Owner's Representative for this latest expansion, Creative Business Interiors CEO Gary Zimmerman shares thoughtful words about the charity and his involvement with the house:
Mock-up of the new long stay wing at RMHC Eastern Wisconsin
How long have you been involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charity?
I became familiar with the mission over 30 years ago when the house was first built; I was a vendor on the project.
What roles have you played there?
Besides working as a vendor, I’ve supported the mission financially and in several volunteer capacities. I’m a current board member, I sit on the human resources committee, and I was formerly chairman of the board. I acted as the Owner's Rep on the 2014 addition to the house, and I’m proudly the Owner's Rep on the current expansion.
How has your support impacted the house?
I would like to think my support on committees and as a board member has had a positive impact in support of the house. My goal as the Owner's Rep is to use my connections, experience, and skills to lead a positive influence on the costs and final solution of the house.
"So many businesses focus on the bottom line and lose track of the impact business has in the community—not just through financial support but through sharing our skillsets and giving our time."
What inspired you to begin supporting RMHC and what encourages you to continue the support?
I’ve always believed in the importance of giving back. The mission is to support children and their families at one of the most challenging times of their lives. Whenever I leave the house and see the families and kids, I’m moved towards the mission each time!
What has Creative’s role been with RMHC?
First, it supports the time I spend as a volunteer—Creative’s culture supports giving back. Creative has attended many RMHC events with clients and introduced the mission to some of our vendors as well.
How has Creative’s involvement impacted the house?
Creative, in both our Milwaukee and Madison offices, has volunteered to cook family meals on several occasions. We donate items for raffles and auctions at many events. Our design team has helped with programming and design solutions all around the house. We have helped on many special projects as well by donating labor and materials.
"Creative has consistently supported numerous charities and organizations throughout our existence. It’s woven into the fabric of who we are."
Of all the programs you have helped support at RMHC, what is the most important to you?
I think my work on the expansion projects and house committee has been the largest impact of my volunteering. I reach more families through these efforts, and they help all current and future families at RMHC.
How does the RMHC mission reflect your personal beliefs and values?
I’ve always believed in the importance of giving back—your values are best practiced in life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some success and been blessed with a healthy family. When I see what other families have gone through, and are currently going through, with such grace and positivity, I question if I would have the same strength in their situation. My time supporting the mission supports those beliefs and values.
"I’ve always believed in the importance of giving back—your values are best practiced in life."
What do you value most about the impact of charitable businesses in a community?
So many businesses focus on the bottom line and lose track of the impact business has in the community—not just through financial support but through sharing our skillsets and giving our time. People with families are busy with commitments outside of work. If we, as businesses, can support them and lead by example, we can help make a difference.
Any further comments about your work with or Creative’s impact on RMHC?
It’s healthy as an individual and as a company to be a steward of society. Way too many people and businesses talk about giving back, and maybe once a year, they do. Creative has consistently supported numerous charities and organizations throughout our existence. It’s woven into the fabric of who we are. The people at Creative are proud of that, and they should be.
Gary Zimmerman and Creative Business Interiors continue to support the efforts and operations of RMHC through volunteer work, donations, and sharing expertise. To learn more about the incredible mission of RMHC, visit their website at https://rmhc.org/. Get involved at https://www.rmhc.org/get-involved.