For those who may not know me, I am Rachel Shepherd, currently a junior at Iowa State, working towards a dual degree in Business Management and Management Information Systems. I ran home to ADPi in 2018 after transferring to Iowa State. As I began the recruitment process, one thing I was searching for in a sorority was their emphasis and involvement in community service. I found service to be a core value of Alpha Delta Pi.
I currently volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines. I started volunteering with Ronald McDonald in high school, but my commitment as a volunteer grew after joining ADPi. Even before initiation, I joined the chapter’s philanthropy committee under sister Ana Frazee. I loved that I was able to fully participate on a committee, even though I was still a new member. This was the first time that I was really exposed to the impact that ADPi has on the Ronald McDonald House. Seeing the success of our silent auction fundraiser and watching the community rally around our “Chili in the Courtyard” event really solidified my decision to join a sorority. In the spring semester, I joined the philanthropy committee again under sister Alexa Long. My consistent participation meant I was given more responsibility and could play a larger role in event preparation and management. More involvement on the committee meant more time spent at the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines, where I met amazing people like Jessica Louis, one of the coolest house managers & volunteer coordinators ever.
Every visit to the house is a new adventure. I could be cleaning out rooms & preparing them for new arrivals. I could be talking with families who are visiting, or decorating the house for the holidays. I love walking into the house on Wednesdays, knowing that I could look at the volunteer assignment list and see something new. Spending my afternoons at the house has been such a humbling experience. These families find such solace in having a true home away from home. The Ronald McDonald House is more than just a place where I can help others; volunteering there has revealed some of my innermost passions. It has influenced my decision to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and it has motivated me to get a Masters degree in Health Administration. I hope to manage hospitals and home facilities for families outside of the United States after graduation.
I never would have thought that being a small part of RMHC would impact me as much as it benefited others. My hope for everyone is to not only find joy in the act of helping others, but to find meaning for yourself through that act, as well.