The Gahanna Kiwanis Club has taken on the monthly chore of cleaning up at Children's Hospital's Ronald McDonald House.

The Gahanna Kiwanis Club has taken on the monthly chore of cleaning up at Children's Hospital's Ronald McDonald House.

One of Kiwanis' worldwide missions, according to local Kiwanis treasurer Frank Walker, is to organize volunteers to change the world one child and one community at a time.

"Young children are priority No. 1," Walker said. "Every Kiwanis Club in the world is dedicated to doing something that affects young children on a priority basis."

Walker said in October the Gahanna Kiwanis Club started volunteering one Monday a month to clean the Ronald McDonald House.

"We run the vacuum, clean windows, clean up the kitchen, do whatever the administrator feels necessary," he said.

Ronald McDonald House community-relations director Ryan Wilkins said the facility provides a home away from home for families of injured and ill children staying at the hospital or receiving treatment there. The facility also offers continuing-care suites for children visiting the hospital on an outpatient basis, he said.

Wilkins stressed the importance of volunteers. He said there would be no Ronald McDonald House without volunteers.

"We are running an 80-room hotel without maintenance staff or cleaning staff," he said. "It is all done by volunteers who save countless dollars. They are just the heartbeat of what we do here."

"When you go down there and see the parents and the children that are being aided by the work Ronald House does, it really gives you a sense of blessing that we have that here in Columbus," Walker said.

Walker said he was excited because Monday was the group's first time volunteering at the new Ronald McDonald House. The new facility, 711 E. Livingston Ave., increases capacity from 48 to 80 families per evening.

Kiwanis secretary Gayle Keaton said members once a month wash windows, sweep, mop, dust and complete other household chores.

"We wanted to have a hands-on project," Keaton said. "A couple of members had children or grandchildren who have been ill. This is close to our hearts."

Reaction of Ronald House residents has been positive. Keaton said siblings stop the members to thank them.

Kiwanis president Bill Sams said because the organization places emphasis on working with young children, "we felt this was a way to do something on a regular basis."

Sams said it is satisfying to help young people and their families.

"It is a good feeling getting to help someone like that," Sams said.

Walker said Kiwanis meet every Monday night, usually including a speaker, announcements and fellowship, but members believe they also need to get out and do a community-service project.

For more information about volunteering at Ronald McDonald House, call 227-3700 or visit