After losing almost everything during Hurricane Katrina, Lesley Robinson moved to Austin in 2005 with hopes of starting over. She was overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from her new neighbors. Strangers paid her family’s restaurant bill. Friends provided household items. With help from others, she was able to build a life in Austin.
Robinson felt inspired to pay it forward. She has been a longtime volunteer with two local organizations – Meals on Wheels and More and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas.
For the past several years, Robinson has coordinated a weekly Meals on Wheels route; she and several of her colleagues from The Advisory Board Company serve multiple families in Austin that would otherwise be unable to obtain nutritious daily meals. Meals on Wheels and More serves more than 5,000 individuals and families each year. Robinson has served 200 of them.
Robinson also recruits her friends and colleagues each month to prepare and serve meals to the families staying at Austin’s Ronald McDonald House, which serves as a temporary home for families who have children undergoing treatment at local hospitals. The families, exhausted by their travels and long visits to the hospital, receive a comfortable place to stay, meals and a host of amenities. Robinson serves four families each month – 300 families each year and more than 1,700 overall.
Robinson and other volunteers also have helped the Ronald McDonald House by supporting the organization’s fundraising efforts, including helping to plan a 5K fun run and other events.
If you’re inspired by Robinson’s story, consider helping make sure others in your community have enough to eat. Check out this Meals on Wheels resource from generationOn to get started.