April 19, 2016
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By BRANDEE BRITT
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Each year the University of Iowa softball team challenges its student-athletes to find an organization in the Iowa City Community they are passionate about. UI softball junior Kara Misel and three of her teammates found just that with the Ronald McDonald House.
On April 23, the Hawkeyes will honor Ronald McDonald House along with six other organizations the team volunteers with at their annual Awareness Day at Bob Pearl Field. A representative from each program will throw out the first pitch before the Hawkeyes take on Big Ten foe Penn State.
Recently, Misel opened up about what it means to be a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House.
Can you talk about the Ronald McDonald House and the purpose it serves?
“The Ronald McDonald House focuses on helping those families who are spending time at the hospital with their children who need an affordable place to stay in the area. The Ronald McDonald House provides that in a location that is close to the hospital.”
Describe your experience with the Ronald McDonald House.
“I’m a three-year volunteer there. I’ve served as a big communicator there between us and the volunteering. Once a week we go and help clean up the refrigerators, freezers, and walk around the house and talk to the families if they are there.”
What do you find most valuable or rewarding about being involved with the Ronald McDonald House?
“It has been awesome to see the children’s hospital go up this year. The part that we get to play the role in is communicating with the families that are going to be using those facilities. It’s awesome getting to work with and communicate with them.”
When was your most recent visit to the Ronald McDonald House?
“I was there Monday. This time we did some cleaning. Last week we got to talk with our friend Abby who is staying there. She threw out our first pitch last year, and unfortunately she’s still there. We got to talk about her going home and being back there. We talked about how much she loves sports, which is awesome.”
What does it mean for UI softball to get involved and give back to the community?
“It’s something that is important and special to us. It’s kind of a reflection of our program. It shows that we are committed to giving back. We value giving our time to somebody else in need.”
Has volunteering been an eye-opening experience in any way?
“It has been eye-opening to work and talk with the kids. It’s crazy to see what they are going through. We want to do our part to make their burden a little bit easier. It’s something I appreciate doing.”
What’s it like to volunteer alongside your teammates?
“It’s special having the support of everyone on the team. Getting to work together makes it that much more fun giving our time. It’s so enjoyable working with them.”
What does it mean to use your platform to give back?
“I don’t really think about the platform much. Even if I didn’t have this platform, I would still be doing it. Having a platform just allows us to encourage others for the cause. When we have our Awareness Day, we just want to encourage others to help and support these causes that we value.”