09 Nov Volunteer Spotlight – Jana O’Connor & Pamela Rayburn
Our Volunteers of the Month for November are mother/daughter duo, Jana O’Connor & Pamela Rayburn!
I’m Jana O’Connor, wife to Chad and Mama to three beautiful girls, Madisyn, Carleigh, and Lexie. I first found out what the Ronald McDonald House was all about after my middle daughter, Carleigh, was born and spent a lot of time at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia due to chronic illnesses. We were blessed to live close to the hospital, but my heart went out to those families who had the added stress of being far from home while having a sick child. I was always thankful that they had a place like RMHC to stand in that gap for them, and we tried to do things here and there for the house in honor of Carleigh’s birthdays and during Christmas time. Carleigh became sick while on family vacation when she was 14, and we suddenly were in a position where we were on the receiving end of RMHC’s generosity at both the Tampa and Atlanta RMHC houses. They were a tremendous blessing to us during the most difficult time of our lives. Our precious Carleigh had a very challenging two-month hospital stay and passed away. It was a very hard time for us, but we had the blessing of not having to endure the costs of lodging and nightly meals thanks to RMHC. Our Carleigh was a light to all who knew her, and it has been very important to us to continue to spread her light! We love getting to do that through monthly meals and making special treats for the families at RMHC Augusta. The House has become such a healing place for me in my time of grief, and I love meeting the families there! I always loved coming up with fun themes for Carleigh’s birthdays, so I have been able to carry on that fun tradition by choosing a theme and decorations to go along with our monthly meals. I hope that adds a little something extra to bring a smile to the families’ faces💛
My name is Pamela Rayburn, a newly retired wife, mom of four, and grandmother to ten! I was a General Manager with Marriott for sixteen years, owned two gift shops/gift basket businesses for ten years, and worked in customer service for fifteen years with Publix Super Markets. I got involved with RMHC Augusta because my granddaughter, Carleigh, was in the ICU at Eggleston Children’s Hospital, and my daughter, Jana, and son-in-law were blessed to have an RMHC there. Carleigh went to heaven after a two-month stay at Eggleston. My daughter and I love providing monthly meals, pantry items, and Holiday gift bags in memory of our angel. 💛
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta serves over 1,000 families each year. Our volunteer-run community kitchen serves over 15,000 meals, and our volunteers and families run over 5,000 loads of laundry every year.