The Face of
Keeping Families Close
Amanda and Katherine Mitchell, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States
“Being a mother is discovering strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.” – Nishan Panwar
The mothers staying at Ronald McDonald House know the meaning of this quote well.
RMH Board Member Amanda Mitchell knows those struggles and fears herself. That’s because her daughter, Katherine, was born 10 weeks early.
“Katherine was born on January 20, 2018 – the day we had actually planned to have our baby shower,” Amanda said. “The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was leave the hospital without my baby.”
Katherine spent 46 days in the NICU before the Mitchells finally got to bring her home.
Amanda said the experience has helped her truly relate to what the families staying at RMH are going through and have helped her be a better volunteer and board member.
“Having that experience helped me understand what women are going through who live further away and need the House at Freeman and the Family Room at Mercy to be close to their family and their child. It really hit home for me.”
Amanda has been a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House since 2010. She served as an overnight manager for six years before joining the board in 2016. She is currently the second vice president of the board. Amanda is also chair of the Gift of Light committee.
Each year, Gift of Light, Gift of Love kicks off the Christmas season with a tree-lighting ceremony at Northpark Mall. The committee decorates a 20-foot Christmas tree in a different theme each year. Last year, the theme was “Threads of Gold.”
“The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is so important to me. What it’s all about is helping families stay close in difficult times, and I can’t think of a more difficult time than having a child in the hospital and not knowing day-to-day how things are going to go. Having a welcoming, comforting space where parents and families can rest and take care of themselves and have others take care of them is such a game changer for the families going through a rough time.”
Amanda and her husband, Philip, were expecting shower gifts January 20, 2018. What they got instead was the biggest surprise of all, their beautiful daughter Katherine. Today, Katherine is a happy, healthy 15-month-old.
3402 S. Jackson Ave. | Joplin, MO | 417.624.2273 www.rmhjoplin.org