You may remember earlier in the month when Lenny and I had a date night and went shopping for charity. We wanted to help make Easter special for local children, so we grabbed some Easter basket goodies. I knew where I wanted to donate them.
I have a cousin with Spina bifida. She is now in her 20′s and has exceeded the once grim life expectancy and jumped every medical hurdle you cam imagine. She has spent much of her life in and out of Dallas area hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House was their home for a time back in the 90′s. Their cause is something that has always stuck with me.
Sometimes we forget how simple things can make a big impact in someone’s life.
When given the chance to do work with Champions for Kids and All You Magazine, I knew that our local Ronald McDonald House was the place I wanted to give to. Their mission is so beautiful.
This past week Matthew and I made a trip to Dallas during the day to deliver our goodies. He proudly helped me carry in the bags. (I love Matthew’s funny faces.)
The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas exists to serve and sustain families when serious illness or injury strikes the most cherished part of their lives, their children.
At the Ronald McDonald House they want to help the worry go away. They want to provide some normalcy and routine during a very trying time for local families. They offer a temporary home-away-from-home for families whose children are receiving treatment for a serious illness or injury at a Dallas area hospital.
They provide transportation to local hospitals where children are receiving treatment.
They offer the family their very own room at the RMH. A $15 contribution is appreciated, but if a family cannot afford that, they are not turned away.
There are playrooms for young children and teens. There is a media room for movie night- an often much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of hospital trips and treatment.
The home has the entire family in mind. They understand that siblings have school work and need space to be a kid. The RMH will bring in a tutor for a sibling or child in need. There is a library and a homework study room. It is a space for life to carry on…. as seamlessly as possible.
Are Mom and Dad stressed and just want to work some of that off? There is even a workout room for a nice parent getaway.
There is a laundry room so you can get your laundry taken care of, just as if you were home.
There are common areas, like the Great Room for just relaxing and mingling with other families. One of the biggest things a family walks away with after this difficult season in their life is the network of community they feel as they get to know the other families. Other families just like them.
I could not image the stress that comes during a time when your little one is involved in intense medical treatment. I see the passion behind the group at the RMH. They really want to make life as comfortable as possible for everyone.
Every day, rain or shine, the Ronald McDonald House serves three meals to their families. Many of these meals are made possible through the efforts of volunteers.
You can sign up to go in and help prepare meals on an individual basis, or you can go in as a group and plan and prepare an entire meal from start to finish. This is a great opportunity for a local corporation to offer as a team building experience for their employees and give to the community all at the same time.
Another way to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House is by coming in to share and give time to the families.
This lovely group of women give their time each week sewing quilts for the home. It was awesome to catch them in action.
There are ways that you can help too. Cooking, crafting, assisting in the office. Really the list goes on and on. Want to volunteer on an ongoing and regular basis? They offer opportunities for you to give three hours of your time a week to come in and help at the house. They just ask for a one year commitment.
There are 52 private bedrooms in the house. We received a tour of the room donated by former Dallas Cowboy Roger Staubach and his wife- room 221.
All of the rooms look just like this: two queen beds, a beautiful bath and a small sofa. They can bring in extra mats and a crib if needed.
There are also six fully equipped suites for families who must be isolated from others due to transplant or chemotherapy treatment.
This home would not be possible without support of the local community with volunteers like you as well as corporate sponsors like Southwest Airlines. (My mother-in-law retired from Southwest. Growing up, Lenny and his family spent many hours at the Ronald McDonald House in San Antonio volunteering and connecting with families.)
We had a lovely tour of the home. I want to give so much more. I would love to take my adult siblings and my parents to the home and prepare a home cooked meal for the families.
The RMH will be celebrating Easter soon with an egg hunt or two. It makes me happy to know we could give something to help- even if it was little.
Ms Connie (and Ms Danna) thank you for the tour and for all you are doing for local families in need. We reap what we sow.
If you would like to get involved in an organization in your community and be a Champion for Kids it is really very simple. Just visit their website for more details. You can also follow Champions For Kids on Facebook and on Twitter under the handle @champions4kids. If you search the hashtag #AllYouCFK on Twitter you will see all of the conversations about others in your community giving to local causes for children.
Want to see more of my trip to the RMH? Hop over to Google+ for a picture tour.
This shop has been part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions stated are my own. #CBias