There’s been something I’ve wanted to share with y’all.
Last Sunday, my RMHC running buddy and I went to Macon to visit the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia. The one where the funds from our Miles of Miles TeamRMHC RunDisney efforts are headed.
I guess it’s the journalist buried deep, deep within my can’t-we-just-all-get-along facade that needs to understand things.
More than a surface explanation, if possible. Since this was possible for us, only an 75 minute drive — if you don’t get stuck behind a logging truck on Hwy 129 — we scheduled a visit.
“Clark, they don’t close the Ronald McDonald House.”
Of course they weren’t closed.
So I walked up to the intercom, rang the buzzer and a very nice male voice answered.
I explained who we were and why the heck we were there.
And Chuck buzzed us on in.
Chuck Kent and his wife Jennifer were the volunteer resident managers last weekend. And that nice fellow Clark — er, I mean Chuck — gave us the tour.
The lower two floors are the common areas with the guest rooms on the upper floors.
A few photos.
More of the kitchen.
They have quite a large kitchen equipped with everything you need to whip up an ice cream sundae or a hamburger with a little of that special sauce.
Chuck explained volunteers provide dinners most nights and brunch on many days. But anytime, day or night, residents can raid the pantry for a PB & Honey. My new personal favorite. Or find the fixins’ for whatever vittles might bring you some comfort.
Every drawer was labeled and the larder full. Chuck said the only rule is “clean up after yourself, just like at home.” At this remark I might have cast a sideways glance at my 10 year old.
The rooms upstairs were just like you’d find in any nice hotel. With the exception of no television. The T.V.s are all downstairs. Which honestly, sounds wonderful.
There was a child’s playroom. A teen cave. A laundry.
I learned today that this very playroom is Charlie’s room. The wonderful Jana Anthoine is the reason I was introduced to running for this wonderful cause. This room is named for her infant son who most tragically died from Group B Strep complications.
I don’t do the “ask for money” thing very well. But after seeing and hearing about RMH firsthand, I’m excited to have an opportunity to help.
Chuck said that they only ask families for $15 a day compensation. But no one is ever asked to leave or turned away because of inability to pay. They money that we are raising goes directly to helping fund a day’s rest for weary, worried parents and siblings.
The Children’s Hospital is right next door. A preemie easily can stay up to 90 days at a medical center. If your home is 64 miles away — what do you do? Leave the bitty love behind?
Chuck said their granddaughter needed surgery at Egleston in Atlanta. Their family was able to stay at the RMH at Emory. “Once you have ever had any experience with a Ronald McDonald House — you feel compelled to volunteer and donate your time.”
When leaving, I felt compelled to take a photo with Ronald. My son was not so sure. After taking this pic, I realized I should have let my son hold the camera out, so he would have been in the frame.
But good luck getting a self-conscious 10 year old to retake a photo sitting on a bench in a public area with a plastic clown.
No. I had one take — and this was it.
Not much else to report about our visit, other than heaven forbid — something happens to a child you love. I now know of the all the good the clown in the yellow jumpsuit does.
Any donation is so very appreciated. Fifteen dollars is all it takes to house a family for a night.
Have you ever wanted a selfie with Ronald McDonald?
Question is my feeble attempt to engage comments with readers of this blog. pooh.