Voices of Giving - Barbara M. Stern

Barbara (Barbie) Stern's relationship with Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House goes back more than 15 years. Early on, she created a special outside fundraiser to benefit the House. As the House made plans to expand in 2000, Barbie helped Executive Director, Jennifer Goodin, lay the groundwork for what would become, in time, a full-fledged planned giving program.

Barbie made a bequest not long after she first became involved. In drawing up Barbie's will, her attorney asked if there were any charities she would like to include. After seeing and feeling the unique supportive system RMH provides, it came naturally for Barbie to include a bequest for the House.

Her gesture took on a new meaning when a friend's daughter needed a liver transplant, and the family came to Cincinnati Children's from Ithaca, New York. Barbie introduced them to the Ronald McDonald House, which became their ''home away from home'' for months on end while young Ali was treated, while they all waited in hope of a donor match. Luckily, Ali received her transplant in time. Ten years later, Ali is a happy, thriving college student who celebrates her birthday and rebirthday every year. As Barbie will tell you: ''What if you had been in their shoes? How would you have coped?... Being a witness to Ali's battle and her journey to recovery was a tremendously moving experience. Knowing how much the House had helped them gave my choice to leave a bequest a much deeper, personal meaning.''

Barbie's generosity and foresight will help make sure that RMH will exist far into the future for other families and children when they need it most. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati is honored to recognize Barbie Stern for her many gifts of time, talent and treasure to ensure its future.

4 minutes
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