Blue Crew Volunteer Leaders: Rogelio Riley

By April 18, 2017January 14th, 2021Community Volunteerism
Volunteer in Philadelphia

Rogelio Riley, Senior Care Management Assistant, Medicare Case Management
Years on the Blue Crew Advisory Board: 5

Spend just a few minutes with Ro Riley, and you’ll know he’s someone who feels deeply for anyone facing struggles in life.

Whether it’s a parent with a sick child, a woman experiencing homelessness, or a friend living with the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis, he says he just wants to ease someone’s burden however he can.

Caring is a Full-Time Job

For Ro, that means volunteering — a lot. On any given weeknight (and most Saturdays and Sundays, too), you’ll find Ro serving others in some capacity.

He’s such a familiar face at places like the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, Project HOME and at fundraising events for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society like the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride, that when he shows up he says people often jokingly refer to him as the “mayor.”

Committing this much time could itself become a burden for many. But for Ro, it’s just a way of life. That’s probably not surprising for someone with “care” as part of part of his job title. But it’s something this former foster parent to teenage boys truly embodies.

At all times, he keeps in mind that none of us knows what tomorrow might bring.

Volunteer in Philadelphia

Sharing Home-Cooked Comfort

For families at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House that struggle with the emotional and physical stress of caring for a child with a serious illness, Ro serves up home-cooked meals with a smile.

He plans the menus, coordinates food donations, and buys anything additional that’s needed. Along with his fellow volunteers Ro cooks, serves, and cleans up — helping give these families a sense of normalcy at a time when their world is turned upside down.

At Project HOME, the women residents who are navigating the challenges of homelessness and hunger see Ro’s smiling face every month when he prepares and serves them dinner.

He makes these meals as special as possible by planning theme menus and even introducing foods the women may have never had a chance to try before. His goal is to make sure no one goes to bed hungry.

What makes volunteering so worthwhile for Ro? The answer’s simple: It’s seeing the smile on the face of the person you’re helping.

We’re profiling members of the advisory board for our Independence Blue Cross (Independence) Corporate Volunteer Program — the Blue Crew. Blue Crew advisory board members lead individual projects, promote volunteerism, and evaluate and select the organizations, projects, and events our Blue Crew supports. Know an organization or a local event that could use enthusiastic volunteers? Contact the Blue Crew.

 

Mary Eileen O'Connor

About Mary Eileen O'Connor

My personal philosophy about health and well-being is to have simple goals and stick to them — whether it’s drinking more water, working in a few extra steps each day, or just making time to unplug. When I’m not busy writing creative content for a variety of audiences, my favorite ways to unwind include enjoying local arts and culture, reading a good book, and watching TV cooking shows.