Every November, Nanna, The Kids and I load up toys and other needed items and donate them to those in need.
We do it in Alexander’s Honour and also to teach the kids a sense of charity.
It’s important to our family.
For the past two years, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and The Ottawa General Hospital have been the recipients of our gifts.
This year was different.
After hearing a touching letter from a parent that had been supported by Ronald McDonald House (read by Cathy Loblaw at ShesConnected 2012), I knew that Ronald McDonald House Ottawa would be this year’s recipient.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has a global network of Chapters in 52 countries under three core programs: Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.
The McDonald’s Restaurant across Canada and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada lends support to the 12 Canadian Houses through the Ten Cent Happy Meal Program. While both are long-term committed partners, the Ottawa Chapter needs to fundraise in the community for the day-to-day operation costs and the majority of their financial obligations.
This community resource relies entirely on individuals, community groups and businesses in Ottawa and surrounding areas for funding. A dedicated group of volunteers supplements the services and support offered to families and assists in the ongoing fundraising for the House.
The brick house is situated on a large lot with circular drive, mature trees and lots of squirrels.
It’s right across the street from the hospital doors and a fenced in play structure which the kids had the pleasure of playing on.
The inside of the house was warm and inviting. Complete with a huge stuffed teddy the size a big bear!
Lots of toys, comfy chairs and people moving about. There were a few Mothers and their kids eating in the dining room and sunlight everywhere.
Although we didn’t stay there while the kids were in the hospital, we could have.
Knowing that it was available, gave us peace of mind.
Given the time of year and that the house was full of families, Carol Houston, Executive Director was very busy.
However, she kindly made the time to give my Mother a quick tour and let the kids put their presents under the Christmas Tree.
Many of the parents are too busy, stressed or financially burdened to purchase gifts. Even though they want to. Carol told us that some will be used for Birthday presents or “Just Because” gifts. Our visit was enjoyable. Given the circumstances.
Find out how you can get involved, find a home in your area or ways you can give.
Connect with Ronald McDonald Houses Canada Website | Facebook | Twitter
How Do You Make a Difference?
A big thanks to all the Companies that unknowingly donated their products to sick kids and their siblings.
Note that it has taken me since November to publish this post. The ones about Alexander always take longer. Sigh.
Thanks for sharing. I know that you guys do your donation every year and it means a lot to me too. You are teaching the kids great things in involving them and I have no doubt that they will grow to be loving and empathetic adults. This sounds like a great charity that I will support in the future (and not just by buying happy meals! Although I’ll still buy happy meals..occasionally.).
What an awesome way to teach kids about giving and sharing. We love to eat at McDonald’s but never visits their house. It looks like your kids had a blast. I followed you back in G+. Thank you for the follow 🙂
Hey! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Love your blog & am new follower. Yaaay!
I was once a Ronald McDonald kid and you should know that my family appreciates and loves people like you. I try my best to give back now that I’m older. Thank-you for being so awesome.
Great post! We love the Ronald McDonald house too! They have amazing support for families. And I love the gift room, it is like a kids dream :).
Ronald McDonalds is such a good organization to volunteer/support. Theres one right by my house and its amazing what they do for their patients and families during these times. Thanks for sharing.
What a worthy cause, what a wonderful feeling to give to it! To answer your question, I try to give back to my community by offering my unneeded items on Freecycle. Although it’s not a charity and you don’t have to be needy to receive, it makes me feel good that people in my community are receiving my unneeded items.
We too participate in Freecycle (on both sides). Love it! I think that it’s definitely giving back to your community as many people might need to use the service and less items in landfill helps the environment. Admirable.
We stayed at RMH for 30 days. That place is amazing, and makes all the difference.
What a great teaching experience for your kids. I’m sure it was appreciated by all the parents at the house!
That’s a great way to honour Alexander and to teach your kids about giving. I love the idea of getting the kids involved with volunteering. Thanks for sharing.
I don’t use Freecycle but I do give what I can through other local groups and help people out when I can. I’ve never visited a Ronald McDonald House but have heard so many good things!
Ronald McDonald house is amazing they do wonderful work. Thanks for sharing your story great to see people giving and supporting charities.
We have spent quite a bit of time visiting CHEO both for my son’s speech therapy and to visit my friends’ son after his operations. I didn’t realize that there was a Ronald McDonald House so close but will definitely pay more attention next time we are there. I love the idea of taking the kids and having them help give toys to other children and families. Maybe my husband and I will organize something similar this year. I also love Freecycle and this reminds me that I have a few things to post!
I have volunteered at my local Ronald McDonald House a few times over the years. I love doing it, but I don’t have a lot of time on my hands anymore. Great article.
Fabulous post and Kudos to you for doing what you can to help!!!!
So touching that you and the kids honoured Alexander in this way, while giving to others. Very inspiring. And what a lovely home away from home!