Carmen Vige once told a fib to help someone – and it was a good thing.
Now she’s being completely honest about needing your help to aid families in their most serious time of need.
Carmen is one of ten Red Shoe Crew members raising money for the Red Shoe Shindig, an annual event raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest – which Lubbock National Bank has supported for years with its time and money.
The Red Shoe Crew member who raises the most money will be crowned as the king or queen at the Shindig on March 3. The event is a night of fabulous food, entertainment, auction and helping others benefiting the critically ill children and their families served by the organization.
Votes/donations for Carmen will be accepted until March 3rd at www.redshoecrew.kintera.org/Carmen
Carmen recently joined LNB as marketing officer, returning to the bank where she started her banking career.
“There is a great need for funds to take care of these people who come here to get help,” said Carmen about the work Ronald McDonald House does. “If we didn’t have this, what would these people do? A lot come from New Mexico and get here in a hurry and sometimes without purses and clothes because it’s an emergency.”
Randy Laycock, LNB’s senior vice president and marketing director, said, “We are proud and supportive of Carmen volunteering to raise money for Ronald McDonald Charities of the Southwest by being a member of the Red Shoe Crew. Carmen has tirelessly volunteered to help great causes as RMHC over her professional career.”
Carmen previously volunteered in the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at University Medical Center.
She made sure the room was clean and disinfected, checked to see if food was ready and more.
The Family Rooms, located in Lubbock at UMC and Covenant Health, and Odessa provide a home-like setting for all families with sick children receiving care in the hospital so they can remain only a heartbeat away from their sick child. No family is ever turned away because they are unable to pay.
The Family Rooms have games for kids to play, television, a kitchen area, shower, washer/dryer and related supplies.
“We serve a lot of communities,” said Carmen.She recalled one tragic story of a family coming back to Andrews from Colorado.
The family’s 14-year-old son undid his seat belt to reach for something on I-40 near Vega. Their van was in an accident with another vehicle. The teen was thrown free, but survived. Everyone else was killed.
The teen’s family members were able to rally around him at the Family Room at UMC.
During another experience at the Family Room, Carmen came across a woman who had given birth to a baby with Down syndrome.
“I asked her if she was OK. She said ‘no,’ saying her husband wanted her to give the baby away. He had an important job and was concerned having a baby with a disability would be an embarrassment. I gave her some numbers to call. The groups she called gave the couple help, educated the father and they eventually kept the baby.”
But before she ever helped in the Family Rooms, Carmen was helping people in need.
Her sister would call Carmen to inform her when people from their hometown near Balmorhea were in a Lubbock hospital and could use some help.
There was an explosion and a man was horribly burned. His wife was killed.
He had no family to help him after he was taken to Lubbock. His parents could not afford to visit immediately.
Carmen went to visit him. A nurse asked if she was a relative and she said she was his cousin.
She went to the man and asked “Do you remember me?” The man called her Ellen. “That’s my sister. I’m Carmen,” she told him.
She went every day and was eventually asked to tell the man about his wife’s death. She did.
The nurse who originally asked Carmen if she was a relative eventually told her “What you’re doing is wonderful, but I know you’re not his cousin and I love you for lying.”
Carmen said there are countless experiences like this at the Ronald McDonald House facilities.
“I truly believe God is watching over these people,” she said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest is a non-profit charity serving 68 counties across Lubbock, the South Plains, Permian Basin, Big Country and Southeastern New Mexico areas.
The Lubbock-based organization helps families cope with the uncertainty, confusion, and fear of having a sick child from birth to 21 years of age.
Besides the Family Rooms, the Ronald McDonald House in Lubbock allows families to avoid hotel bills or long commutes during times of a child’s illness when a family’s love and support is critical.