On a beautiful June afternoon with my eyes barely opened after an emergency C-section, I finally got to see the little life I was carrying within me for 9 months and 4 days; and at that moment, I understood every parent’s heart! As I laid there unable to move, still drugged up from medication and with all the chaos around me (nurses, husband, family and a baby crying) all I could think about was how lucky I was to have a healthy baby! However not all of us are so lucky and sometimes the unthinkable happens and that is why I wanted to work with Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon! Established in 1983 (the year I was born), RMH BC serves as a home away from home for BC and Yukon families who must leave their homes in seek of serious medical treatment for their child in Vancouver. They also have a more intimate Family Room at Surrey Memorial Hospital which is the main reason that caught my attention in the first place because that is where Adelina was born. After my traumatic birth experience, I was so thankful for the staff at the Surrey Memorial and was hoping to give back even in a small way the best I can and when their newsletter showed up in my inbox, I knew it was meant to be!
*Make sure you read till the end for a special announcement and how you can help benefit the house this season!
Just 575 steps from the B.C. Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon in Vancouver keeps families close while their children are undergoing major treatments. With the ability to accommodate 73 families each night, RMH BC serves approximately 2,000 families each year and staying at the House can help families from outside Vancouver save $3-6,000 in incremental costs from accommodation, food, gas and other expenses. This helps alleviate financial and emotional burdens so that families can focus on caring for their sick child. Their siblings and other family members like grandparents can also stay there while their loved ones are undergoing treatment. The 4-bedroom Family Room at Surrey Memorial also provides accommodation and support for families from Fraser Valley communities when their child is at that hospital.
I was lucky enough to be invited to RMH BC’s five-year anniversary donor appreciation Garden Party over the summer and was able to hear from one father who brought tears not only to my eyes, but to everyone there as he shared his story about his children and how RMH BC offered him a home. Like him, many families stay there for a long time and also have to come back multiple times depending on their child’s condition. His story really shows what a positive impact RMH BC has on the lives of families during these difficult times. I was also invited back a second time with just my family and Adelina to have a more personal and in-depth tour of the house, and it really blew me away. Not only because the place was really beautiful, but I didn’t feel sad when I saw the families there, as I think most people expect to when they hear what the House is about. I walked in and the space was really open and bright and, from outside, I saw rooms where kids enjoyed music programs, a Lego Lounge, art classes, a fun play room and theater space, and a giant slide in the middle of the house that serves as the foundational spirit of the House and offers a relief from whatever is going on; sometimes that is all you can have and that’s why organizations like RMH BC are so important.
Home for Dinner Community Fundraising Program
Did you know that RMH BC does not receive any government funding and relies on the generosity of the community, individuals, and corporations through annual fundraising and community events? It costs $125 per night for a family to stay at RMH BC; however, they only contribute $12 dollars per night, and generous donations help ensure no family is turned away!
There are so many ways you can contribute to the House, such as by volunteering or hosting your own creative and fun community fundraising event, all while benefiting a great cause. Today, I want to draw attention to RMH BC’s newest fundraising initiative – Home for Dinner – which celebrates the tradition of sharing a meal with those you love.
The idea is that you can host a dining event in support of the families at RMH BC and the possibilities are endless! For example, you can host an intimate gathering or big get-together in the comfort of your home or in your favourite restaurant, and in lieu of guests bringing a host/hostess gift they can simply make a donation. All proceeds raised will support RMH BC and contribute to families staying together and sharing a meal everyday!
Follow these 4 easy steps below to get involved!
Step 1: SIGN UP
Visit www.rmhbc.ca/home-for-dinner to set up a personalized fundraising page. Need assistance? We are happy to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2: GET PLANNING
Plan a home-cooked meal or dine-out event at your favourite restaurant and invite your friends & family to participate. Access various resources that can help make your event a success:
· How-to Host an Event
· Customizable Invitations
· Mission Cards
· Customizable Menu Cards
· Donation Forms
· RMH BC Fact Sheet &
· Tax Receipt Requests for Host Expenses
· RMH BC Materials (napkins, impact
Step 3: HOST YOUR DELICIOUS EVENT
Host your dining event and collect donations. Be sure to save original receipts to be submitted for a Tax Receipt!
Step 4: MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The funds raised will ensure a family can continue to share meals and moments
I am excited to announce that I will be hosting an intimate dinner with my close friends to celebrate the tradition of sharing a meal this coming Thanksgiving or Friends-giving benefiting the families at RMH BC! I will be hosting the dinner at the end of September so it will give you plenty of inspiration before Thanksgiving to host your very own Thankful to be Home for Dinner event. You can also find more information about RMH BC and this community fundraising initiative at their website and on Instagram!
I would like to thank Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon for inviting my family to visit and helping me learn more about what the wonderful things they do for families during these unthinkable times. I know that since having Adelina, not only has my world changed completely, but also how I viewed the world and as she gets older I hope to instill in her values of community and a sense of giving!
I have also created my donation page and if you like you can also donate below:
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the party!
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