Recently I got a unique invitation to attend an event at the Ronald McDonald House, located right across the street from Dayton Children’s Hospital. Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley were celebrating their Cookies That Care & Beyond campaign, which saw a percentage of each cookie sold at local McDonald’s restaurants in December 2015 returned as a donation to the organization. Yesterday, a check was presented for over $12,000 to the house, and I was so honored to be there to witness this incredible donation!
After the check was presented, Dylan and I got to try our hand at making some dough for their delicious cookies, which would later be baked for the families staying in the facility. It was so fun!
The Ronald McDonald House is a familiar name, yet not many people truly understand the great work they do for families with hospitalized children. I was so fortunate to be able to see the facility up-close and personal and meet the remarkable people who make it all happen…
The house is located directly across the street from Dayton Children’s Hospital on Valley Street. Their purpose is to serve the families of children who are hospitalized there, especially those who have to travel long distances or are faced with their child staying long-term. Not only does the house have 14 private guest rooms, it also provides a large, fully-stocked kitchen with daily home-cooked meals, laundry facilities, computers, personal care items, common living spaces, and a wonderful playroom and outdoor play facility for the siblings of hospitalized children. The home-like environment is relaxing and comforting while parents can be just steps away from their sick child. And the best part is, it’s open to anyone in this situation, regardless of income.
Everyone I met was so generous at the Ronald McDonald House. They gave Dylan a goody bag with coupons for McDonald’s, a t-shirt, crayons, puzzle, books, and more. And he was even able to choose a toy from their toy closet!
Each child who visits the Ronald McDonald House gets to choose a toy from here – another one of the many ways they go out of their way to make families feel special. Since these were all donated, I’m planing to make a donation to replace the toy Dylan was so generously given – a pack of Hot Wheels cars! 🙂
While I was there, I also talked with their Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Brittany Miller, about some of their wonderful upcoming events. Mark your calendars!
- 2nd Annual Little Ladies High Tea with your American Girl Doll (Sunday, April 10 – 2-4 PM at Sycamore Creek Country Club) Jr. Red Shoe Society of Dayton cordially invites you to join us for our second annual Little Ladies High Tea with your American Girl Doll. The High Tea will take place on Sunday, April 10th from 2pm – 4pm with check-in beginning at 1:30pm. Tickets are $25 per person. All proceeds from this event benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton and its mission to provide a home-away-from-home to families of critically ill or injured, hospitalized babies and children.We invite Moms, Daughters, Grandmas, and Friends to share an afternoon together eating and laughing while enjoying a fashion show and supporting RMHC Dayton. American Girl Dolls are welcomed but not required. Enjoy your afternoon with: High Tea | Raffle Prizes | Photo Station | Craft | Fashion Show & Children’s Boutique For Your Doll: Hair Braiding, Shopping & Accessories
- Doors of Compassion Fundraiser (Saturday, May 7 6 PM – Midnight) Doors of Compassion is a one of a kind signature fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton. All proceeds from the event benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton and its mission to provide a home-away-from-home to families of critically ill and injured hospitalized babies and children.The event begins with a delicious dinner prepared by one of the area’s elite chefs and served in one of 30 private residences throughout the Dayton area. All chefs are given the same core dinner ingredients and are encouraged to use their culinary creativity to create a unique dining experience for their guest’s enjoyment. Dinner locations are randomly assigned to guest pairs, providing a wonderful opportunity for community and business leaders to mingle and dine together.After dinner, guests come together to share their unique dining experiences at an After Party. The After Party venue is a secret and the location is not revealed to the guests until the evening of the event. The After Party features a decadent dessert & coffee bar, after-dinner libations, live music, a silent auction and more! Door of Compassion is kosher and vegetarian friendly. Guests are asked to indicate special dietary restrictions when reservations are purchased. Registration opens the week of March 21
- Boys Night Out With Mom (returning this Fall 2016) We invite Mothers, Grandmothers and friends with their sons to share an evening together dancing while supporting RMHC Dayton. The special evening with the young man in your life will include dinner, dancing, raffles, laser tag, and much more.
When our visit was over, I left feeling so compelled to do more for this organization that plays such an important role for families. Not only did seeing the facility and learning more about it have an impact on me, but I remembered how it made a difference for friends of ours who had a baby prematurely several years ago and stayed at the house for a few days. I remember their stories about how convenient and special it was, and being there in person yesterday, I truly felt it myself.
If you’d like to give back to the Ronald McDonald house too, there are so many great volunteer options including:
- Pull Tabs: Collect pull tabs from pop and soup cans. Easy! We do this at home and it’s amazing how quickly they add up. We combine them with our neighbor’s tabs and take them directly to the Ronald McDonald House where they are recycled and the funds are donated to the facility.
- House Wish List: Donate items from their wish list to help stock the kitchen, toy closet, and guest rooms. Click HERE to view their current wish list.
- Hot Meal Provider: Schedule a day to cook and provide a hot meal to families at the house.
- Pantry Partners: Choose a month to participate and your group (work, church, non-profit, etc.) will help fill the RMH’s wish list.
- Red Shoe Society: Join this group of local professionals who help lead the philanthropic work of the Ronald McDonald House and build awareness about its mission.
- Volunteer: Share your time one day a week helping with various tasks around the house, including cleaning, organizing or doing special project around the house.
- Donate: Donate your change at any area McDonald’s restaurant in the RMH donation boxes, or visit their website to submit a donation online.
We’re so fortunate to have such a great resource available to families right here in Dayton, and I can’t wait to see the great work that Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley continues to do in the coming years!