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I was first introduced to Nationwide Children’s in my clinical as a nursing student. Through my experiences in the hospital I learned very quickly how much the Ronald McDonald house does for the patient with 5 appointments in one day, the confused sibling, and the exhausted parent who’s just trying to keep up with it all. Seeing first hand from the nurse’s point of view how much the house does for families in need encouraged me to get involved. I will continue working at the RMHC, however, because of the infectious positivity that surrounds the people who run it. Every volunteer and employee here is an integral part of why the house is so effective in helping these families and I am so glad to be given the chance to be a part of it!
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is excited to offer a brand new event for you and your little ones!
Pirates & Princesses is a swashbuckling good time for young children ages 10 and under to “walk the plank,” enjoy a photo booth, treasure hunt, kiss a frog (not a real one…ewww!), play Magic Wand Toss or Dig for Buried Treasure, and dress like pirates and princesses for a day in the Ivory Room of Miranova.
And, bonus—valet parking for the event is FREE!
You and your child (or children!) can come anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, June 11. Stay as long as you like for additional activities including, face painting, tattoos, Pin-the-Kiss on the frog, a fishing game, craft corner, tiara making, tea cup decorating, a dance floor, and a movie-viewing area.
Upgrade you and your little one to V.I.P. tickets (that’s Very Important Princess or Very Important Pirate!) to include pirate or princess training, hair and make-up studio, and a super cool Treasure Hunt.
An online auction will also be available as is a dress shopping area for you and your littlest princess, housing the finest gear royalty could ever dream.
Parents and their little ones will enjoy Cameron Mitchell catering that will make even the simplest kid’s cuisine a culinary delight fit for a pirate and princess!
The very best part of the whole event is that money raised, even from ticket sales, benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, serving families with seriously ill children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Money donated to our organization, including through events like Pirates & Princesses, allows us to provide a home for families whose children are going through a medical difficulty.
And if you want to go one step further for our organization, after buying your ticket to the event, sponsor a family at the House to come to the party, too! You’ll see first-hand how your generosity is changing lives at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Thank you for your continued support!
What is better than golf? This is #mywhy. Golfing for a cause. I love fundraising for the RMHC of Central Ohio through the Joe Mortellaro Junior Golf! As I begin fundraising for my third junior golf outing, I think about how lucky I am that I have been able to raise thousands of dollars for those families that need to use the house. I have been the top fundraiser the past two years, and have enjoyed not only the junior outing, but the Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic where I have met two of my favorite coaches: Urban Meyer and Thad Matta. My parents even let me bid on some items at the silent auction! Getting to golf through this outing allows me to help the house while I get to enjoy my favorite sport.
In the past three years, I have putted for change outside a local store, sent letters to area businesses, family and friends, and of course, put in my own money. Why have I done this? My answer is because it matters. There are families that need to use RMHC to remain close to their children, and they should not have to worry about where they are going to stay. It doesn’t matter that I am only 9-years-old. My efforts are as needed as my parents or even strangers. We can all give our time, services or money to help RMHC of Central Ohio. Throughout the year, I also collect pop tabs, have purchased items off the wishlist, and gave money for an organization to make a meal. There are lots of ways people can make a difference at RMHC.
Although I hope I raise the most money in fundraising again this year, I know whatever amount I am able to raise will make a big difference to RMHC of Central Ohio. Please consider donating your time or money today!
~ Written By Junior Golfer Griffin Beach
Meika (a staff member) asked me why I like volunteering for Ronald McDonald House. She wanted me to write something down and share with everyone. Well, I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t know the exact words to say but today was my turning point. I saw a young woman today who was crying over losing her child. Everyone in the office was hugging her, talking to her, trying to console her the best way they knew how. That’s what this House is all about. It exudes love and compassion for these families and their children. I saw this on day one when my friend Jean (God rest her soul) brought me to the House to see if I would like it here. She had me hooked at day one! The brave little people here are so special to me. One day, for example, a little girl came up to me and said, “I had a heart transplant,” and showed me her scar. She said, “I had to come today for tests and had to lay still for lots of hours.” My heart melted for her. I told her how brave I thought she was and she smiled that big smile. She is just one of the precious moments that I have shared here. The good Lord knows why He sent me here. I cherish every day. I love you all. The tears have been rolling steady since I started this letter. So, I think you will all get my message.
Love to all, Chris Hicks
Written By: The Smith Family: Jen, Ryan, Bren and Gideon
Summer 2016 we went in for an ultrasound to measure how big our little man was since due date was quickly approaching in the beginning of August. My favorite ultrasound tech noticed something that didn’t seem right. She went and got another tech that was more advanced to take a look. She also got the doctor who was filling in for mine who was on vacation at the time. They spotted what appeared to be a mass on his heart. They decided to send me down to OSU for a level 2 ultrasound to see what it could be. After going down to OSU it was determined there was something on the baby’s heart and we would need to team up with Nationwide and get a fetal echo as well as an MRI performed. Once we had both performed we met with a couple different doctors and came up with a game plan that I would come down to Columbus to deliver and our little man would be taken to Nationwide to have tests run as soon as he was born because of what they saw. They were confident they figured out what he had, but couldn’t officially diagnose him until after he was born.
A coworker of mine suggested asking if they could put my husband, my mother, possibly our 5 ½ year old daughter and once I got out of the hospital even myself up at the Ronald McDonald House across from Nationwide. I inquired at one of various appointments we had at Nationwide leading up to our son’s birth and they set it up for us to make this our home for the week we would be down there.
On August 6, 2016 Gideon James came into this world at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz. Luckily for me there was no room for him at the main campus at Nationwide so he got to stay with me at OSU, only he had to hang out in their NICU and not in the room with me. Sadly the next morning I received a phone call that they are loading him up to go over to Nationwide and I need a nurse to roll me down to say bye until I could get a day pass to go visit him. I got down to give him Mommy love before they took him only to see he was already strapped into his transportation gear and I got to hold his hand from the opening of the carrier. My Mom had already been at the Ronald McDonald House and my husband had stayed the night with me at the hospital.
Flash forward to a few days later, I’m finally discharged from the hospital and I get to move in with my husband and mom into the Ronald McDonald house. Needless to say it was nothing like I had expected. The house was warm and inviting with everyone so kind and helpful from the moment you walk from the doors. The volunteers who came in to cook the meals for not only us, but the other families were friendly and took the stress away on having to worry about food. The beds were comfy and having a hot shower to freshen up in our own private room was wonderful. A few days before all of us were able to head back to our hometown my mother in law brought our daughter down to us so she could join in and get spend time with her brother. The house definitely won her over too with the various rooms in the house she could explore and play in. By far her favorite thing was one night she was invited to a princess party in the princess room. She still gleams that she got to dress like a princess and keep her princess dress. Which is why I think she insists on trying to go back with us every time we have to go down.
Gideon was officially diagnosed during his stay in the NICU with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Luckily for us, two of his doctors from Nationwide come to our local hospital so we can utilize them from the comforts of our hometown. However, his neurologist requires frequent trips, right now of every 6-8 week visits. Due to the frequent visits we have become frequent guests at the Ronald McDonald House. The last two trips to the house we have got our church involved in taking up donations that we can bring as our way to say Thank you for being there for us. Our daughter who is now 6 does her part by collecting tabs to send with us as well. She has been able to have family members all the way from New Mexico mail her tabs. She created a video we had posted on my Facebook page in which she shows some of the tabs and tells people why they need to donate them and how they help families. Because of the video she has had various family members and some of Mommy’s friends mail her the tabs that don’t live close by to us.
The Ronald McDonald house has been a huge blessing to my family and I know it will continue to be as we continue to have frequent doctor’s appointments that our son will have. I encourage anyone who wants to help whether collecting tabs like our 6 year old does, to collecting items off their wish list, to volunteering to cook a meal, play games or make crafts with the families to do so. Don’t do it out of pity, but do it out of love and you will touch the lives of all who enter the house. We may be just one family, but what little we do to help makes a difference for other families.
Written and Submitted By: Lion Jane Jarrow
In early March, the Tri-Village Lions Club was preparing to do a fundraiser in support of CureJM (www.curejm.org ), following on the heels of a successful “Visit to Santa’s Workshop” in December (www.tinyurl.com/SantasWorkshop-2016 ). We planned to invite children in the community to bring us their favorite stuffed animals for an overnight visit to the Easter Bunny. But as long as we were at it, why not bring the fun home to some children who might not otherwise be celebrating all the Spring rituals (Easter egg hunts on the top of the list!)? So we decided to share OUR Easter festivities with the children at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
We couldn’t think of a way to safely collect (and then return) stuffed animals from the children, so we decided that they should get NEW stuffed animals from us. Of course, if you are going to celebrate Easter, you should have an Easter basket. And, of course, that Easter Basket should have Easter eggs. But that was going to mean we needed a LOT of decorated Easter eggs.
We reached out to the Tri-Village community to help us make Easter a little more fun for the kids at RMH-C and NCH. We invited folks to stop by for just a few minutes to the MCL Cafeteria at Kingsdale (the home base for the Tri-Village Lions) and decorate an Easter egg for a sick child. There was a terrific response from our community, with more than 100 people turning out over the course of an afternoon to put together an Easter egg (actually, most folks were having so much fun they stayed for two or three!). Added to that, students from Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington and Stevenson Elementary School in Grandview asked if there was something specific they could do to be involved in the project, since they were already focused on doing things to support the children at RMH-C. We assigned them specific roles in preparing the Easter baskets and considered Phase One of our project a complete success.
Phase Two found us collecting stuffed animals from community children (in exchange for a $10 donation to CureJM) and taking them overnight to see the Easter Bunny. While we were at it, we asked the Bunny to pose for some pictures with the animals that would go with our gift baskets, too. He was more than happy to oblige, and we were able to put together a little souvenir “photo album” of the trip to hand out along with the baskets.
Finally, we delivered Easter baskets, photo albums, stuffed animals, and activity books to 40 children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and another 20 at the Ronald McDonald House in the week before Easter. We thank the Tri-Village Community for supporting the Tri-Village Lions Club as we, hopefully, brought some big smiles to some little faces. You can watch the little video we put together about all this at:
Here at the Ronald McDonald House, we know how important it is to provide family-centered care for the tiniest patients we serve—children. And we are fortunate to be part of a large team of professionals who believe in, and focus on, that mission here in Central Ohio.
This week, along with our partners at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, OhioHealth, and Mount Carmel Health, we celebrate one of the most important members of that team—nurses.
May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week! The week ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern day nursing of which there are over 3.1 million registered nurses in America. The purpose of the week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.
In Central Ohio, we’re lucky to have medical facilities that employ such caring and dedicated nursing professionals, who help our families through difficult and trying times.
So take a moment this week, and every day, to join with us and recognize the outstanding nurses in our area with a heartfelt, “Thank you!”
Hello, Central Ohio! I’m excited and honored to be writing this blog from inside the Ronald McDonald House, a 120,000 square-foot facility serving nearly 5,000 families each year, as its new Communications Manager.
Since the first day I began covering Columbus news as a reporter back in 2007, I always held a special place in my heart for Ronald McDonald House Charities and its Ronald McDonald House. As a mother, I could relate to what families staying in the House were going through.
I remember the day I had to rush my child to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital emergency room after she tripped on a flipped-up rug and tore her forehead open above her eye on the corner of a table. Suddenly, I was that parent, sitting in the emergency room, alone, waiting to see if my kid would be OK. I felt the helplessness of not knowing, of waiting, of wondering, of worrying; but I was lucky. I lived in Columbus, Ohio, where I was privileged to have access to the best healthcare my child could ever receive at Nationwide Children’s. Where I could easily make arrangements for work, for groceries, for assistance, for anything I needed.
Some families are not so lucky.
Families from every state in the union and across the world have traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to give their child the same care I received at Nationwide Children’s and other area hospitals ~ the best care. And when they find out it will take weeks, or months, or years, to help their child, where do they go? Where does someone from California stay when they’re thousands of miles from their home? How do they eat or get transportation? How do they do laundry? How do they find a sense of normalcy in a situation that is no longer normal?
They come to the Ronald McDonald House. They come to a place where they can live life, uninterrupted, during the greatest interruption they will ever face ~ a sick child.
I didn’t fully grasp that concept until I actually started volunteering for the House in 2012 as a member of its Red Shoe Society, before moving into making breakfasts for the families and financial donations, the, eventually, donating a video hosted on the RMHC website’s Home page. Through those experiences, I knew I wanted to be part of the organization ~ had to be, somehow, someway. I saw what the volunteers and the staff were doing with their lives, the way they were helping children and families in need, and I just knew I had to join in.
It is a dream come true.
And now, as the RMHC Communications Manager, I get to help Ryan Wilkins, the Director of Communications and Facilities, and all the RMHC team tell the RMHC story and more. To me, it is the greatest story I will ever write. It speaks to a calling in my life, a purpose, a mission, an opportunity to do more than a job. It is an opportunity to help change lives. To make them better. For parents just like me. For kids just like my daughter.
By: Françoise Walusis
Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier in Upper Arlington is proud to partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio to raise money for #chocolatesforcharity. Our goal is to do what we can to help support a wonderful organization while providing the community with one of the world’s finest chocolates. In lieu of a big clearance sale after Easter, we have decided to continue to sell our Easter product at regular price and will donate 50% of our proceeds to the RMHC to support keeping families close during the difficult times that they are enduring.
Unlike most Easter chocolate that is filled preservatives and are purchased as a novelty, the chocolates at Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier are hand made in Brussels, Belgium with 100% cacao butter, and contain no artificial flavors or additives. In addition to dark and white chocolate rabbits, eggs and chicks, we have 8 varieties of eggs, each with its own delicious filling. Regardless of the season, these chocolates can be enjoyed by everyone.
As a small business owner, mom and former nurse, choosing the Ronald McDonald House Charities for Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier’s #Chocolatesforcharity fundraiser was an easy decision. Families of sick children already have so many things to worry about and the services offered by RMHC alleviate much of the burden. We would love to welcome you to Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier in the Shops on Lane Avenue to sample a few pieces, treat yourself to an experience and help your local charity, The Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
For more information about us, please visit www.francoiseimports.com or on Facebook/Instagram under Francoise Imports. 1643 West Lane Avenue, Upper Arlington, OH 43221.
By: The Cox Family — Jared, Camy, Lauren, Jason & Joshua
In May of 2006, our oldest son, who was then 2 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was being treated for an eye condition at the time and it was his eye doctor, Dr. Don Bremer, who discovered there was swelling in his brain. Dr. Bremer referred us to Dr. Ed Kosnik, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s, and almost immediately, Dr. Kosnik had our son admitted to the hospital. Surgery was scheduled for a few days later.
We were overwhelmed, to say the least. Our extended family all live out of state and our daughter was 4 years old at the time. We felt we needed to be together as a family during this time but didn’t know how that would work with our young daughter, commuting back and forth from Marysville, and needing to be with our son in the hospital.
One of the nurses in the Neruo department told us we might qualify for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, so we applied and that very same day, we were approved to come stay. Upon check-in, our little daughter was invited to choose a donated homemade fleece blanket for herself and to choose one for her brother in the hospital. She was so excited! We still have these blankets some wonderful volunteer made!
Staying there provided a lot of calm for us in the middle of uncertainty and hard days and nights at the hospital. It enabled my husband and I to trade off sleeping nights at the hospital with our son and sleeping at RMHC with our daughter. We were able to be together as a family; our daughter could play at the House and outside with one of us which gave all of us a little bit of stability during that time. I remember after a particularly long day, it was my turn to stay the night at RMHC with our daughter, and we just snuggled up in one of the small TV rooms and watched TV. Those few hours just sitting on the couch in a room that looked like a living room watching TV helped me relax and feel sort of normal for a few hours.
Our son’s recovery post-surgery was difficult. He couldn’t take medication orally and couldn’t eat. Even favorite foods we suggested to him, he had no interest in. It was Memorial Day and Dr. Kosnik gave us permission to take him out of the hospital in the wheelchair with his IV and bring him across the street to the House for a family picnic outside. One of many volunteer groups had come in that day and made dinner; I don’t remember what the meal was, but homemade cornbread was there, it smelled amazing, and we took a piece outside for our son. He actually showed interest in eating it and ate several pieces! He even showed interest in wanting to play in one of the playrooms, and we felt like a normal family again for a little while. Things went well after that and eventually the time came for us to leave. It was bittersweet for us — we were thrilled to be going home, but we were taking some very precious memories with us. We are grateful to the staff at RMH for providing us with an opportunity to be close to our son and to be together as a family! Our son is now 13 years old, almost 14, and he is healthy!
Over the years since that time, we have volunteered at the house as our schedule has permitted. We know what it’s like to be there and how it feels to be a parent there when your child is at the hospital. We want to bring a little bit of cheer to those who are there, because we know there’s often long days and long nights and a lot of uncertainty. We want to give back, to express our gratitude to those volunteers we never met who made the blankets for our kids, who made dinners every evening and the ones who greeted us every day with a smile. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers who help make this a wonderful substitute home!