by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael De Nyse
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Coast Guard crewmembers from several units at Sector St. Petersburg and Aids to Navigation Team St. Petersburg volunteered to work during a duel community relations event at Ronald McDonald Houses in St. Petersburg and Tampa, Wednesday.
Approximately 18 Coast Guard crewmembers stationed in the St. Petersburg and Tampa area worked tirelessly replacing 110 beds, box springs and frames between the two Ronald McDonald houses.
A Ronald McDonald House is very similar to the housing the military provides for the families of wounded warriors returning from the field of battle.
“It’s really rewarding and great to be able to give back to the community,” said Fireman Amanda Scott, crewmember of ANT St. Petersburg.
The new beds the Coast Guard crewmembers helped replace will keep the family members and loved ones comfortable as their children get the treatment they need.
“When they got here this morning, it was like the cavalry rolled in to help,” said Donna Young, director of the St. Petersburg and Tampa region Ronald McDonald Houses. “We really depend on volunteers and the Coast Guard was the first to step up to the challenge.”
The Ronald McDonald House is a nonprofit organization that provides families stability and resources so they can keep their child healthy and happy. There are a total of 1,775 families served by more than 340 volunteers at the three houses in St. Petersburg and Tampa.
“This has been my favorite event to volunteer for so far,” said Fireman Gabe Rivera, crewmember of ANT St. Petersburg. “It really is a privilege to be able to help out in any way.”