By Rick Shepherd, Communications Manager
We’re one year older this month. This is our birthday month. (That happens to be true for me personally, as I was born this month too, many years before our chapter, and it also happens to be true for our Chief Development Officer, Angie Hartley – today! Happy birthday, Angie!) Specifically, it’s the month our chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities was born from an idea formed by volunteers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital here in Columbus. While most folks think of this Friday as a day to go green for St. Patrick’s Day, we here at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio will be gushing at the prospect of our home-away-from-home turning 41-years-old.
It’s a special year for our charity. Last year, during our 40th birthday celebration, we announced that our already-big House would be expanding to become a huge House with the addition of more than 80 rooms to our current facility, once-again reclaiming the title of “Largest Ronald McDonald House on Earth” by the end of 2023. We launched “A Million Reasons,” the capital campaign to raise money to fund the growth. For the last year, we’ve been watching as our backyard disappeared under earth-moving equipment through this week’s birthday weekend where we can now see the shape of the two new wings behind the current building, beginning to spread and unfurl.
But as our structure gets bigger, the heart of our House isn’t changing. Our goal will always be to make the large House as homey and hospitable as ever for the families who need to stay with us during their child’s medical journey. We’re still going to recognize each family and each family member staying with us through the peaks and valleys, lending a shoulder when it’s been a tough day, and cheering along when it’s been a successful day. This will always be, through the next chapter of our RMHC chapter and beyond.
Remember, you can help celebrate our chapter’s birthday when you purchase a Shamrock Shake or Oreo McFlurry through Friday. 25-cents from each sold at area McDonald’s goes to RMHC of Central Ohio. To make the gift even better, ask to “Round-Up for RMHC” when you place your order and your total will be rounded up to the nearest dollar with those cents also going to our chapter.
“Hospitals are scary and inherently un fun places. Even when they have signature nightlights, great physicians and amazing child life specialists. So when a hospital trip is looming, particularly for an early morning infusion of procedure, being able to say “but we can stay at the Ronald McDonald House the night before makes it a little bit more tolerable. Thank you for being a landing spot for my girl, and a place to regroup for me. It changes the hospital experience for both of us.”“Infusion Day was made sweeter by a McDonald’s #ShamrockShake. And the sweetest thing about the shake is that proceeds from it benefit the Ronald McDonald House, a place that has always been there for our family when Gracie needs care. Today her body hurts. Her joints are so swollen her skin on top of them is bursting. But between Auggie’s kisses and ice cream, there was smiles. And that’s something to be thankful for. ❤” – Fight Like A Grrl, Facebook