Ronald McDonald House Charities South Western Ontario

When children are ill, families need to stay close. A donation to Ronald McDonald House in London will help families when a child is hospitalized.

Our story began with the call we had so excitedly anticipated. “Mom, I had the baby; but there's something wrong with his heart. We’re being flown to the hospital in Vancouver. Can’t talk, I’ll call you later.” All we could do was wait and worry.

At five days old our grandson underwent eight hours of open heart surgery. After the operation he was named “Calder”. (Hockey fans will recognize the reference to our own “Rookie of the Year”.)

Our daughter, Allie, had left the hospital in Prince George, BC ten hours after giving birth with nothing but hospital staff, a newborn who could not breathe on his own, and a worry of the unknown.

For the first two weeks of post-surgery recuperation, Allie and Calder were guests at the Ronald McDonald House. The House motto is: “Keeping Families Close”, but we lived half a country away. Calder’s father needed to return home to care for his older children and return to work. For Allie and Calder, the Ronald McDonald House staff and volunteers were the caring family she needed. Because of the care they were receiving at Ronald McDonald House, we knew we could wait to support them once they returned home.

Our daughter was one of thousands of guests each year who receive a clean room at an affordable rate near their hospitalized children. She especially appreciated the home cooked meals, a handmade quilt, the loan of a stroller, as well as friendly volunteer and staff support.

In appreciation for the support given to our family, we decided to “give back” to the House by volunteering at our local Ronald McDonald House in London. Surprisingly, we find it impossible to “give back” because each day we volunteer, we leave our shifts at the House in a better frame of mind than we arrived. We see our daughter in each of the families we see at the House. We look forward to our days with the encouraging staff and friendly fellow-volunteers.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern Ontario asks families to pay just $10/night and never turns a family away due to inability to pay – the cost to actually host a family for one night is closer to $177. Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern Ontario doesn’t receive any government funding, so our wish is to use Lerners’ generous donation to help cover the expenses associated with keeping families close to their seriously ill child and offer comfort during their difficult journeys. Every dollar will help provide needed sleep for worried parents, siblings and grandparents.

- Diane

Learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities South Western Ontario