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Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charity

I was thrilled to announce yesterday that I have partnered with the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities for this giving season. After touring one of the houses and meeting with the team twice, this partnership will extend past the giving season. This house and this organization have imprinted my heart in a big way. During my husband's hospital journey in 2019, the nurses, the doctors, the people at the hospital, and my friends and our families carried me during those days.  It was the hardest thing we have faced as a family and will not be a part of my life.  The people, the love, the support, and the endless prayers offered to us by every single person who touched us made every moment bearable.  If there had been a Ronald McDonald House connected to Northside, I would have used it daily for showers, breaks, naps, and a refuge from the grueling days and nights. I have always thought I would find a way to pay it back, and when the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities digital content creator asked if I would like to be involved, I responded in all capitals.  

Yes, yes, and yes, please

What is the Ronald McDonald House, and what do they do?

The Ronald McDonald House Charities has 368 houses in 64 countries, all situated next to a children's hospital or medical facility. We currently have two (Children's and Egleston) in Atlanta, with a third planned.  The place is available to any family with a child (up to age 21) receiving medical care at a hospital or medical center affiliated with that particular house.  Although families are asked to make a small donation of $20 per night, no family is ever turned away due to their inability to contribute. They can stay at long as they need to and as often as needed while their child is receiving services.  

"Families are stronger when they are together. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents can be more rested, which enables them to better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. They can also focus on their child's health rather than grocery shopping, cleaning, or cooking meals."

I love that the house is referred to as a home and provides everything they need.  All meals, laundry, transportation to and from the hospital, and small things are provided.  But beyond that, they are loved on, supported, lifted, and given a room that will provide them with emotional and physical support.  I walked the house next to Children's Hospital, and when I tell you they have thought of every detail, I do not exaggerate.  When you check into your room, a stuffed animal and blanket are provided for the child. There is a bag of items you most likely forgot when you packed or maybe didn't even have time.  You can eat with others in the dining room, grab and warm a leftover or frozen meal, or even prepare your own food as you would at home.  Need a snack? The snack room is filled with everything from applesauce to cracker packs and fruit.  No small or large detail has been overlooked.  Trust me, I looked and was unable to find one. 

2021 Gratitude Report

 How Did Ronald McDonald House begin?

I loved reading this story and how one person saw a need and pushed to fulfill it. We all see conditions daily, and I hope this is an inspiration to listen to those nudges.  We never know when that nudge will lead to something great. 

How can you help

There are endless ways to help the houses, from collecting tabs from a can to adopting a room and donating money.  You can volunteer, teach classes, drop off new blankets and stuffed animals, and give them extra laundry tabs and coffee pods.  Literally, there is not anything they will not consider.  You can donate a car, give them your time each week, or anything else.  They cover and provide so much that they always have something that can or needs to be done.  Following the pandemic, there is a need for volunteers, and I suggest checking your schedule.  I arrived at the house the first time, prepared for it to hit me hard seeing families in so much need, and I left with a spring in my step and endless inspiration.  It is a fabulous place of hope, healing, grace, and love.  Every time I think of the house, I smile, knowing all they do to change the lives of others in their massive time of need.  If you are local to Atlanta, you can contact the volunteer coordinator, who can be reached here.

Personal stories ... 

As I researched the websites, I found this section of personal stories.  I only read one today as I would like to save one a day, almost like a devotional.  Those who are brave enough to share their stories are a huge blessing to others, as I have learned myself.  These families have been through it all and walked through the valley of fire to persevere.  Some have lost their child, and some have not, but all share a unique and blessed story.  I hope you will read them with me. Today I read Micah's story and was so very inspired.  I love that we have an update on how he is doing now. 

How to donate?

The easiest way to help is with a donation.  Your donation can be $5 or 5 million. Every dollar makes a huge difference and allows the charity to continue doing what they do.  I have decided to make a monthly donation that will feel small but will add up over time.  I can't imagine having a child in a hospital, but most definitely not for any time away from my family.  I love that their needs are provided, and they are given a place to have family stay and support them.  I love that their meals are prepared, and they can have a place of respite and peace.  I can promise you any second of peace is worth days of agony. I have a link to donate, and I would ask you to consider doing so.  I can not think of a better commitment this giving season. 

As I said before, partnering with the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charity is an honor and a privilege, and I hope you will join me in my support. 


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