#Keeping Families Close

I have to be honest here I thought I would do more blogging with my retiring and no work, (except dreaded house work, which is growing old) but with Covid and lockdowns my life experiences are becoming more limited each week. There are only so many things to talk about. I do enjoy our walks in Kopegaron Woods, watching spring come alive. Dale and I were excited when someone decorated the forest with gnomes, mushrooms and trinkets. A sign, "Enchanted Forest " greeted us at the entrance. This entertained us for a few weeks, counting the decor, seeing if something was added or moved. But last week it was all removed so now its back to watching the birds and looking for deer. We did have our granddaughter for a few weeks and she was so excited to be walking in the enchanted forest but we could only take her once because the parking lot was inaccessible due to the mud. This leads me into the reason we had our granddaughter visiting with us.

Our 10 month old grandson had some health issues and was transferred to McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton from their local Kitchener hospital. So I had our granddaughter for a week in Kitchener then when he was moved to Hamilton I brought her to Leamington to spend the next few weeks. My daughter and her husband were accepted into the Ronald McDonald House after spending the first night in a hotel. I can't begin to tell you what a relief this was for them. Covid did change some of their policies but it was still an inviting place with friendly and compassionate volunteers. We didn't get to experience it but they had nothing but praise for their stay. I asked my daughter and son in law some of the things they liked best and besides the fact it was in walking distance of the hospital and they could stay for $12 a night she gave me a good idea of what was offered. They were served 2 meals each day with a varied menu during the weeks they were there. The rooms were clean, equipped with 2 comfy beds, TV, a table to eat or work. The common areas were closed due to the pandemic but normally your other children could stay or visit. On my daughters birthday they left balloons outside her room and a gift card. Saturday movie nights with popcorn, PI day celebration, national Oreo day, chip day treats and much more were offered. There is also laundry facilities included and with covid only one family at a time could book the laundry room so you could use all the machines and be finished in no time. To top it off they had a 31 gift bag for the baby with toiletries, bowls and cups. But none of this is possible without the continued support of the the corporations and individuals who donate or raise funds for this cause. I know for myself I donate on Ronald McDonald day at our local McDonalds but with many things you don't realize how important services are till you are in need of them. This place is truly what parents and families need when they are stressed and worn out. We have promised ourselves we will make a yearly donation to this cause and I encourage others to do the same. Once Covid restrictions are over and things are returning where you can volunteer, try giving some time to your local Ronald McDonald house or a fundraising event. I know this blog is only being read by a few people but I believe in the six degrees of separation, you are just six introductions away from any other person on the planet. If we could all spread the need for donations through these social contacts families will continue to use the Ronald McDonald house at a nominal cost and care for their sick children without having to worry about meals, laundry and a place to lay their heads.

Thank you for reading and from April 20th -May 10th a portion of every purchase of fries is donated towards helping sick kids in your community. Or don't forget to Round Up your order to the nearest dollar all year long to support RMHC. Keep your eyes on the fries!

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