If you’ve ever had a seriously sick or injured child, you know how stressful that it can be. Just worrying about your little one is enough to deal with, imagine if you had to figure out where to live during their hospital stay as well.
While I had heard of the Ronald McDonald house before, I wasn’t really aware of what all they did until a few years ago when my son was born. After months of hospitalization during my pregnancy, and a traumatic delivery my little guy was born 8 weeks early and barely tipped the scale at 4 pounds. We were 100+ miles from home, and had a lengthy hospital stay in front of us while our little man grew bigger and stronger in the hospital NICU.
If you’re not aware, the Ronald McDonald House was founded by Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill and his wife, Fran, when they learned that their daughter, Kim, had leukemia. While traveling into Philadelphia for treatment at the children’s hospital, they met other families with sick children in the same situation. These families drove hours to the hospital to be with their children, only to sleep overnight in waiting room chairs and to eat from vending machines because they had nowhere else to go.
The Eagles enlisted the help of their local McDonald’s restaurants to raise money for the first-ever house. In 1974, the Philadelphia House opened bearing the name of McDonald’s happy clown, Ronald McDonald. Today there are over 300 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, all serving the needs of families during their child’s hospitalization. Each House is independently owned and operated. McDonald’s is only one of many generous donors, so community-wide support is the essential ingredient for each House. Any family is eligible to stay at the Ronald McDonald House regardless of their ability to pay for their room, and many of the families there come with just clothes on their backs. The house provides not only lodging, but food, toiletries and much, much more.
Here’s my little “premie” ready to go shopping. He’s a big guy now, and he even brought along his own baby to help us shop!
So yesterday we headed out together as a family to purchase some products that we could take to give back to the Ronald McDonald House and help them help other families in need and headed out to Walmart to purchase some of needed items that they have on their donation wishlist.
A beautiful Iowa day to be out and about — and fall is in full force with pumpkins everywhere!
Toiletries were on our shopping list for donations, since many of the families coming to Ronald McDonald house don’t even have time to pack essentials. Picking up some Dial Soaps in particular was part of our mission.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Dial Soaps #DialCFK #CBias #SocialFabric. Information on the Ronald McDonald house courtesy of their website.