Beyond February – Why We Serve: Spotlight on RMHC Bay Area Team Member, George Harris

Meet George, an essential Guest Service Associate at our Oakland House. George’s background spans two decades with experience in corporate software sales and a five-year career as a professional athlete in the NFL and NFL Europe. 

George brings a unique perspective to his role. He finds great fulfillment in being part of an organization that is held in high esteem by the community and his connection to the Charity is rooted in the personal experience of his college friend Harold, a survivor of a drunk driving accident, whose journey to recovery was eased by the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Witnessing firsthand the impact of RMHC, George finds purpose in contributing to our mission, knowing that every effort touches lives far beyond. George is a true example of the essence of service, embodying the belief that in a world yearning for compassion, organizations like RMHC Bay Area stand as beacons of hope and solidarity. 

Do you have any personal connections to RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities) Bay Area and its mission?  

“One of my best friends from college, Harold, was the victim of a horrible drunk driving accident when he was a child. Harold suffered 3rd degree burns on his face, chest, and arms. The road to recovery was difficult for Harold and his family.  

Despite the pain he faced during that time, Harold fondly recalled the support he and his family received while he was in the hospital having surgery on his face. He remembers vividly, his mother by his side thanks to Ronald McDonald House. Harold later served on the Board of Directors of a local chapter in his home state of Kentucky.  

I am personally grateful to be associated with Ronald McDonald House Charities, as we make a difference in the lives of families, not only across America, but around the world.” 

Why do you think it is important to celebrate Black History beyond February? 

 “Black History is not about the past; it’s about moving into the present with a better vision for the future. It’s important to celebrate Black History because Black History is American History. It is an acknowledgment and celebration of love in the face of past and present circumstances. The Black tradition itself is a modern tradition that confronts bias, violence, and more.” 

What do you hope we learn from history as we build our future?  

“During my first trip to Ghana, Africa in 2020, I visited two slave castles: El Mena and Cape Coast Castle. They were both known for their dungeons that kept people enslaved. For Black people around the world, these landmarks are where the nightmare of slavery and bondage first began. Our place in the world today can be linked to this reality. The words on a memorial at the castle resonated with me.” 

“In Everlasting Memory  Of the anguish of our ancestors, May those who died rest in peace. May those who return find their Roots. May Humanity never again Perpetuate such injustice against Humanity. We the Living, Vow to Uphold this.” 

Which Black leaders have influenced you most?  

  • Dr. Martin Luther King – “We must use time creatively. And forever realize that with time there is always hoped to do great things.” 
  • Bob Marley – “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”  
  • Maya Angelou – “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.”  
  • Cornel West – “The condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak.” 
  • Marcus Garvey – “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” 

What makes you most proud to be Black? 

“There is a lot to be proud of as a Black person. Personally, I am most proud of the resilience of Black people. We have stood strong against catastrophic circumstances.  

We are gifted people across the board; artistically, intellectually, and physically. At our core, we are morally good and spiritually grounded people. Most African Americans know for themselves that America…would not be America, without the significant influence of African people.” 

Thank you, George, for being a welcoming face of RMHC Bay Area and supporting our mission of Keeping Families Close. 

To read more about Why We Serve click the link below: