SONJA SWANSON

Daily Point of Light # 3066 Nov 4, 2005

Sonja has volunteered for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Las Vegas for the past two years as a active member of the National Honor Society (NHS) at E.W. Clark High School. Sonja first became involved with RMHC when she volunteered her NHS group to cook a meal for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The House serves as a “home away from home” for families who must travel to Las Vegas to receive critical medical treatment for their children, and the dinner program helps provide these families with a hot meal and one less thing to worry about while their child recovers.

The dinner program is a valuable volunteer program. Individuals and groups can sign up to cook dinner any night of the week, and our families always look forward to coming “home” to a hot meal. Thanks to Sonja, the Clark High School NHS has been a regular on the dinner calendar for two years, and RMHC can always count on them to help with community events and holiday activities.

As part of our mission, RMHC supports organizations in Southern Nevada that benefit the health, welfare and education of children. One organization RMHC works with regularly is Nevada Children’s Center (NCC), who provides treatment services to emotionally and behaviorally challenged children between the ages of four and thirteen.

As president of the NHS this year, Sonja organized a Halloween carnival at the House for over 20 children from NCC. The group set up four trick-or-treat rooms, a haunted house in our basement, and decorated the House with spider webs, props, and music. They provided homemade treats, facilitated group games, and made sure that extra costumes were available for children who weren’t able to provide their own. Sonja came up with this idea on her own, and planned the event from start to finish with minimal help from RMHC staff or the staff of NCC.

In addition to the work she’s done with RMHC, Sonja has also been involved with volunteer projects for Habitat for Humanity, the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, University Medical Center and various senior citizen centers. She’s been on two mission trips to build homes for poor families in Mexico, and has dreams of working for Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or an international organization such as the UN.

Sonja is truly dedicated and committed to helping others. She goes far beyond what’s required or expected, and her enthusiasm, maturity and work ethic inspire all who know her. At the young age of seventeen, Sonja understands what it takes to really make a difference in the lives of those she serves.

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