Friendship bracelets symbolize long-lasting connections, and whether you’re a transplant, Indy lifer, or homecomer, Indy acts as a friendship bracelet. Each Wednesday in July for Camp IndyHub, you’ll hear from a duo on how Indy has played a role in bringing them together. And then it’s your turn, take to social media to share your Indy Friendship Bracelet stories by using #CampIndyHub.
Brenda Ewigleben and Amy Cosgrove first met at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana (RMHCCIN) serving dinner to families with the Young Professionals Board (YPB). YPB is the House’s young professional organization dedicated to supporting the ever-increasing needs of families who turn to RMH as a supportive home-away-from-home while their children receive medical care at Riley Hospital and other Indianapolis hospitals.
How did you end up in Indy?
Brenda: After graduating from college, my husband and I returned to the Indy area to be closer to family and start our careers. It wasn’t hard for us to return as we were familiar with how the city was growing.
Amy: I was born and raised in Indy, and have always loved this city. After my husband finished his military contract, we moved back to be closer to family and friends.
What inspired you to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House?
Brenda: When I settled into my job, I was interested in volunteering to help Hoosier families and to network with my peers. I’m passionate about children and healthcare issues, so volunteering at the RMH seemed like a natural fit. I was sold on it after the first time I served dinner to over 60 families.
Amy: I sought an opportunity to serve the local community. The opportunities through the YPB to meet new people while also supporting the Indy area seemed like a perfect fit! I’ve always loved children as well and I saw the House’s mission of keeping families together as vital to the community.
Do you remember your first meeting?
Brenda: Yes! Amy was one of the first people to approach me at my first YPB dinner in March 2015.
Amy: Yes! I was so excited to have Brenda join the group!
What was your first impression?
Brenda: Our conversation flowed naturally. I thought Amy was so incredibly nice. Her passion for the RMH families was evident in how she spoke about the many ways YPB supports the House.
Amy: Brenda is a very genuine person and it showed right away. I could see her commitment to supporting the House’s mission and getting to know everyone involved. I thought that Brenda was someone I wanted to get to know better!
What stands out to you about your friendship?
Brenda: Amy’s authentic caring nature isn’t just reserved for the Ronald McDonald House, but is naturally extended to her friends. Last September, my firstborn was stillborn seven months into my pregnancy. My husband and I were devastated. Amy and her husband supported us in ways we didn’t even realize we needed at the time. Her empathetic nature allowed me to grieve and process in a safe space. Amy is also a ton of fun, and I’m usually laughing around her.
Amy: Last summer, my husband and I joined Brenda and her husband on a Bourbon trail trip. This was one of the first times we spent a long period of time together. Brenda’s lighthearted and positive personality helped build a strong bond and made the trip a memorable one – and turns out we were both pregnant on the trip. Sharing our pregnancies and also our losses brought us even closer in our friendship.
Reflections on friendship?
Brenda: What started out as a ‘nice networking acquaintance’ has turned into a lifelong friendship that has already seen me through some very difficult times. As special as our friendship is, I know that it isn’t unique. Indianapolis has an incredible way of bringing people together. There are many wonderful nonprofits in Indianapolis, but I’m thankful I chose RMH and met my dear friend, Amy.
Amy: Brenda is a joy to be around! She has an infectious goodness about her that encourages those around her to do more. The YPB, and the House, are stronger because of her contributions. I’m lucky to call her a friend and have the YPB to thank for it!
Brenda Ewigleben is a life-long Hoosier passionate about children and healthcare issues. As a Riley Society Gift Officer for Riley Children’s Foundation, she connects donors to opportunities that make a
true difference in the lives of Riley kids and families. Brenda also volunteers with the Young Professional Board at the Ronald McDonald House, Young Professional Indianapolis Bicentennial Committee for Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Office, and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In her free time, Brenda enjoys traveling with her husband Tyler, her Book of the Month membership, and cooking for friends and family.
Amy Cosgrove was born and raised in Indianapolis. She graduated from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) and then moved to Kansas for a time after graduation. Finding a roundabout way back to Indy, Amy was excited to join the Ronald McDonald House YPB. She has the opportunity to support the mission and meet some amazing people. Since college, Amy has been a professional in workforce development and recruiting since. Currently she works in college recruiting for Cummins. Amy lives on the south side with her husband, infant daughter and 2 rescue mutts.