Dec 042008
 

Just before Thanksgiving, we took the girls to the nearest Ronald McDonald House,


to donate a Caring Corners – Mrs. Goodbee Interactive Dollhouse.


Two of these dollhouses were generously given to us by Learning Curve, as part of Project Dollhouse. One was for us to keep and review, and the other was to be given away to a family or organization in need. My girls have had so much fun with Mrs. Goodbee, and we were so happy that we could share a great toy with a great charity.

Families of seriously ill or injured children must often travel far from home to obtain treatment. The mission of Ronald McDonald Houses around the world is to provide a way for families to stay together, in proximity to the treatment hospital, and be comfortable and cared for during their stay. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents can also better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. At every House, families enjoy:

Home-cooked meals. There are small kitchens, like these, which are shared by four families:


private bedrooms (of course, Cakes wanted to jump on the beds),


with some 2-room suites available,


and cheerful, spacious playrooms for children.


The local House also had a library, with computers and wireless internet service,


a laundry room,


and a large, comfortable family room.


I had never visited a Ronald McDonald House, so I asked the House manager to give us a tour, and explain what life is like there. I wanted Bee to have understanding and empathy for the children who live there. I asked her to imagine how hard it would be to live far from home, away from friends and family. I wanted her to think of how sad and worried we would be if Cakes was sick, and how the Ronald McDonald House would be a place where we could be together and support each other, and meet other families who were in the same situation.

The generosity of volunteers and donors makes the Ronald McDonald House possible. All toys, food and supplies are provided by donation, and the house also earns money through the recycling of pop can tabs. The Manager said that the greatest need is for basic, everyday supplies, because the House has the same needs as every family – times 31! Just that morning, she was working in the office, and was unable to find paper clips. Such a small, simple thing, but I would never even think to donate paper clips! I think that most people donate toys and food, but don’t think of necessities for daily operation, such as cleaning and office supplies.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Ronald McDonald House, you can find a local chapter HERE. Here are some items that are greatly needed:
Liquid laundry detergent
Household cleaning supplies
Automatic dishwashing detergent
8-ounce hot/cold cups
Swiffer refill pads – wet and dry
Dryer sheets
Letter-sized, white, 20# copy paper
40w/60w light bulbs
First Class postage stamps
Lysol
Pledge
Aluminum foil/Ziploc bags
Office supplies, such as paper clips, Post-its, staples, etc.

Food items that are especially appreciated include:
Baking mixes
Canned soup
Canned fruits and veggies
Sugar, flour, chocolate chips, canned frosting, and other baking supplies
Cans of juice or frozen concentrate
Cereal
Fresh fruit and veggies (IMPORTANT!)
Milk, butter, eggs (IMPORTANT!)
Snacks (dried fruit, granola bars, cookies, fruit snacks)

You can also help the House by donating aluminum pull tabs from soda cans. Also, families at the House are very grateful to have meals provided for them. Families, groups of friends, clubs, civic organizations, and church groups occasionally prepare meals, such as evening dinner, weekend brunch, or a dessert buffet. I think this a wonderful way to give! In fact, I told my husband that when both girls are old enough to help prepare food, we should make a meal for the House.

I pray every day for the health and safety of my children, and I hope that we never have a reason to stay at a Ronald McDonald House. I can’t even imagine the stress, fear, worry, and exhaustion that parents of seriously ill children must face. I’m thankful that the Ronald McDonald House exists, to make their lives just a little bit easier.

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