We went back to the Ronald McDonald House on Tuesday...but this time, as volunteers!! Do you know how great it feels to get an amazing welcome from everyone on staff, like we're some long-lost family members?! I know the director, Sandy, must have hugged us at least 5 times! I tell you, I love those people!
Our Easter egg hunt was a wonderful success, besides the fact that only 4 RMH kids participated. I think that it may have just been a little too early and some of the kids were still at therapy. Sandy also said that they have a lot of inpatient kids right now, so there's more adults at the house than usual. It didn't really matter though, because those four kids had a blast and got a lot more eggs because of the small number! In addition to all of the candy-filled eggs, each kid got to find four golden eggs, which with slips for the special prizes. They were so excited with the prizes! My favorite was an eight year old boy who was in a wheelchair due to limb lengthening surgery. His older brother was pushing him around and he would point to an egg, they'd zoom across the room to it, and he'd grab it. That duo was hysterical!
Caleb and I made homemade play-dough and put it in eggs for the mailboxes, along with the recipe for it. My students at school made cards for the kids, so we also included those. (Side note: I had mentioned at one point that the sodas were only 25 cents there, so a bunch of kids decided to tape quarters into their cards and say "Enjoy a soda on me.") :)
I think that the students in the youth group who went really enjoyed themselves, and I know that we did! We're already thinking about how we can take the puppet team this summer and do a backyard show with a cookout. I can't wait!!
Along the same lines with giving back, I have some exciting news to share with you. We have been asked to be the face of a new program called, "Adopt-a-Night." This program allows people to donate directly to the families to help them pay for their stay. You can choose to donate for one night, a week, a month, a year, etc and it will go to help families who are financially unable to pay their entire bill. Any amount is welcomed and so appreciated by the families! While $15 a night is very inexpensive, it does add up when you are staying their for an extended period of time.
We were asked to share our story in writing and include some pictures of our family and some of Abby. That piece is sent in the thank you note for all of the Adopt-a-Night donors. We were incredibly excited to do this because we are so thankful for everything that RMH has done for us and we would love to do whatever we can to help them raise money as well. I just got the published version of our story and the brochure when I was there on Tuesday and they did a fabulous job with it.
If you or someone you know would like to make an Adopt-a-Night donation, feel free to go here to RMH's website and check out the details. You are also able to do it in honor of someone's birthday, anniversary, life, etc. and RMH will send that person a card on the designated day letting him/her know of your gift.
On the website, there are also numerous ways that you can help RMH. They are always in need of monetary donations, but there's a whole list of supplies as well. If you're interested, saving the tabs off of soda cans is an easy way to help out. They turn these in and get money for them. You can get your soda tabs to me and I'll take them up there if you'd like. We're just starting to collect them ourselves.
Of course, don't forget about the change containers at McDonald's! In Maryland, ALL of the change collected in those containers (both in the drive thru and in the restaurant) goes directly to RMH Baltimore...not to the corporate headquarters! Feel good about going to McDonald's! :)
Quick story: We were in McDonald's the other day and Caleb saw the RMH logo on the bottom of a poster for Happy Meals. He was so excited and exclaimed (quite loudly), "Look Momma! There's the Ronald McDonald House!" Lots of people turned to look, and so I took the opportunity to explain to Caleb--so that others could hear--how McDonalds helps RMH and how we should always donate our change, since RMH helped us so much. Can't hurt, might help! :)
Seriously, RMH is the real deal. We know first-hand what an amazing charity this is. If you are looking for a new charity to support, this may be one for you to consider!