It is officially December. And you know what that means? It is the start of my giving back series. Each day this month I will post either a way you can give back or profile organizations that give back. So check back every day to check out ways you can give back. Today I have Cassidy with us. All throughout high school she was one of our “adopted daughters” and she is friends with my oldest Maddie. Read about her multiple experiences with the Ronald McDonald house when she became a first-time mom to the amazing Bash.
The Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake County is an organization that provides a “home” for families. This organization is Non-profit and in return accepts donations from the community. The Ronald McDonald house opened their doors in 1980. The inspiration to open this amazing organization stemmed from Fred and Fran Hill after their daughter became sick. Fred Hill was a football player for the team Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles also teamed up to help fund the Ronald McDonald House. The RMDH of Durham and Wake became the first house in North Carolina. It was the 13th house to open in the nation.
Their Mission Statement:
“Built with love, the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake offers a comforting “home-away-from-home” and a community of support for seriously ill children and their families”
This mission statement could not be any truer. The RMDH has been a home for us the past 21 months. They have offered us a bed to sleep in, home-cooked meals to feed us, hot showers to bathe, warm hugs on our bad days, and smiles on our good days. My son Sebastian was born with a rare heart defect and airway disease among many other diagnoses. He spent his first 4 ½ months in the hospital. He spent 4 days at Vidant in which we also were able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House there. He was then airlifted to Duke University Hospital where he spent the remainder of his time. We see ourselves at Duke for an admission at least once a month. He has had several stays that included surgeries, infections, test, and observations. We are seen at Duke for specialist appointments several times a month, every month.
The RMDH house has always welcomed us with open arms any time we needed to stay there. The house is an amazing building. There are 4 floors, each has many bedrooms. The 3rd floor is their main floor that provides the kitchen, a large dining room, a cozy foyer, and an amazing staff. They also provide a room for families in the Hospital itself on the children’s floor. They have a shower, washer and dryer, computers, drinks and food for families.
A lot of families who enter the doors of the house are exhausted and overwhelmed. The least of their worries are eating and sleeping. Their child is sick and in result has been a roller coaster journey. Stepping foot into the RMDH is a love/hate relationship. It was a blessing in disguise to be able to go there. When you’re on this journey you put all efforts in advocating for your child, it’s nice to be able to take a second and breathe. The RMDH provides you with that opportunity no matter where you are on your journey.
Ways to Give:
The RMDH is always accepting of items for their families, cash/ check donations, household items, and volunteers. The RMDH as the families, if they are able, to provide $10 a night for a regular room or $15 a night for the transplant rooms. They have the understanding and acceptance of families who are unable to provide anything. When donors and individuals send in a donation it allows families who are unable to provide the $10 or $15 to be paid without a worry. With the RMDH providing all the necessities for these families, they are always asking for household items. The RMDH offers an open kitchen for families to be able to help themselves with anything they need. They always provide you with whatever is needed for you to have an easy stay. They also collect soda can tabs in which they are able to turn in for a cash allowance. Volunteers are always welcomed in the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteers help by meal prepping, greeting the families, helping with check-in, making sure the families have what they need, and by helping in the hospital. They provide you with the Holidays you don’t get to spend at home. They provide you with people who come out and teach a yoga class, a hairdresser to cut your hair or style it, a nail technician to give you a manicure or a pedicure, therapy dogs to put a smile on your face, a school teacher to help provide you with the essentials you need.
Check out their website for ways to give.
I cannot thank them enough for all they have helped me and my family. I have met many amazing people in the house and they have become my family. The opportunity to give back is beyond amazing. Anytime I get the chance to talk about the RMDH or even to have a fundraiser for them I am all in. My biggest blessing was not having to worry while Sebastian was in the hospital.
About the Author:
My name is Cassidy Morris, I am a single mother of an amazing Heart Warrior. I am currently the freight logistics coordinator for a company called Empire Marketing Group. I also am the owner of Heart Warrior photography in which you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. My life revolves around being a mother and traveling along this wild journey called life.