I (Angela) recently had the pleasure of attending a parent blogger event at Ronald McDonald House BC in Vancouver, along with Kerry Sauriol (owner/editor/chief blogger at Crunchy Carpets: Clean Socks Are A Privilege Not A Right). Since that heart-warming event, Kerry has taken it upon herself to write a thoughtful post about our group’s collective experience and to start a fundraising challenge for local parents and parent bloggers. Thanks to Kerry for contributing this guest post and helping to kick-start a fundraising campaign that Modern Mama North Shore truly believes in (we just made our $20 donation to match Kerry’s). And now here she is!
We don’t like to think about our kids getting sick. Why would we? But would we know what to do and where to go for help and support? These questions ring especially true when you don’t live near BC Children’s Hospital down here in Vancouver. That is where the Ronald McDonald House BC comes in.
I was thrilled when Daddy Blogger, Ricky Shetty and Angela Santoro of Modern Mama: North Shore, joined my kids and I for a visit to their current residence on Angus Drive. We were there to make muffins for the families and to learn all we could about how Ronald McDonald House BC goes far beyond a mere roof over a families head. This is a place of support, refuge, and respite from the stresses of life when you have a child who needs the help of BC Children’s Hospital.
The house was fairly quiet when we were there but we did meet some cute kids and a few families were preparing to head over to the hospital after lunch, so we managed to chat a bit. What struck me was that this was more than a place for a bed and a meal. The house is lovely and has a sense of peace that I am sure is balm for the soul when you are going through such a scary thing.
And yes the house IS lovely but only holds 13 families, which is why Ronald McDonald House is thrilled to be opening brand new digs next spring that will hold up to 73 families at a time. What makes this now location even better is that it is on the ground of the hospital itself. No more transportation or parking issues to worry about.
Ronald McDonald House British Columbia is more than just a place for families to stay. It’s a place for families to heal better together. Far from home. Financially strained. Emotionally drained. Every year, hundreds of desperate families come to Vancouver in search of life-saving treatment for their seriously ill children. Finding themselves in a strange city and in a vulnerable state, these folks long for simple comforts; a bed to sleep in, a pot to cook in, a couch to rest on at the end of a long day. More than anything, they seek a safe and affordable place where their family can stay together under one roof. Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House British Columbia has opened its doors and arms to overwhelmed families who need to keep the spirit of hope alive while they engage in the fight of their lives. Within our walls, kids undergoing treatment for cancer and other devastating diseases bask in the glow of family love. Here, parents under siege share stories with others who face similar challenges. And here, people have access to services that help put some joy and normalcy back into their lives. We provide more than just a place to stay – we provide a community of support.
Community support and understanding are crucial to making Ronald McDonald House the amazing place that it is will be in their new location. They need the community to help them make the time these families spend down here under terrible circumstances to be as smooth and stress free as possible. RMHBC loves to get input and help in many ways:
- Become a House Volunteer. We are always looking for evening and weekend volunteers to manage the office, provide services to families, and of course, brighten the day for some very special children.
- Become an Event Volunteer. There are many opportunities for you to get involved in our fundraising initiatives, including two summer golf tournaments and our Ronald McDonald House BC Gala.
- Cook a Family Dinner. Bring your friends, family, or coworkers and prepare a home-cooked meal for our guests. Or, drop off some baked goodies as part of our new Breakfast Express program.
- Do Some Spring Cleaning. We welcome corporate, school, and community groups for House cleanup and gardening projects.
- Get Creative. Do you have an idea for a fun House activity? Past activities have included arts and crafts, music, storytelling, yoga, and spa nights. If you have a talent to share with the House, we would love to hear from you!
It would be great if you the parenting community and blogging community could be inspired by these ideas and spread the word about what an amazing organization this really is. Wouldn’t it be fun for a food blogger to cook a family dinner or provide some bagged lunches?
The new house is going to be bigger and better but will really need the support of the Vancouver community to make it flourish and support all those families.
I thought I might get the ball rolling here, so I created a team for Parents & Parent Bloggers under their ‘Gift A Night’ fundraising project. It costs $75 to house a family for one night. RMHBC is trying to raise enough funds to cover 73 families for one year. I think we can help them reach that goal. I have have started the pot with $20. Lets use the power of the parent blogger community here in BC to push that to $1000. If 50 of you each donated $20….we would be there. So help spread the word. Share the link to the team site and lets show Vancouver how much parents and bloggers can do when it comes to giving back! CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR TEAM OR SIMPLY DONATE!
Thanks for listening.