February 26, 2013
Charity of the Month for March 2013 – The Ronald McDonald House Charity
EatSmart fans will continue to select each Charity of the Month in 2013. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011. March’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by loyal EatSmart Fan, Brittany Belling. She selected The Ronald McDonald House Charity. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of March. (So spread the word!) Read why Brittany picked the Ronald McDonald House Charity: When I was given the honor of choosing the charity of the month for Eat Smart, there was only one place I could choose: The Ronald McDonald House Charity. This charity is so near and dear to my heart, I’m always trying to find little ways to pay them back. Back in July my daughter, Aliceana, was born. Less than 12 hours after her birth the doctor’s at our local hospital found so many health problems, that they were no longer able to treat her at our small hospital. She was transported to the NICU in Madison, which is about a 2 hour drive from where we live. We knew that we were going to stay with her, we had no idea what our sleeping conditions would be, or how long she would be hospitalized. When we arrived, one of the nurses asked if we wanted to check in to the Ronald McDonald house. We really had no idea what it was, but we graciously accepted. The house was so beyond our expectations. Each bedroom is set up much like a hotel room, so you have complete privacy. There is a huge kitchen and dining area complete with a fully stocked pantry, you’re welcome to cook whenever and whatever you want. They also have volunteers cook dinner for guests every night. I was thrilled to see that the house had an elevator, after going through labor and being released early from the hospital to be with Aliceana I was definitely not well enough to use stairs. They also had a computer room, game rooms, a room to watch movies or play video games, and lots of cozy places to read a book. They had a laundry room too, which was so nice, since we packed when we were frantic to get back to Aliceana, and we didn’t make the best clothing decisions (for example we’d have packed 12 pairs of socks yet only 2 t-shirts) and didn’t pack nearly as much as we needed either. If you’ve had a child in the NICU or any medical situation, you know how incredibly difficult it is. Every single day was so hard to get through. Every minute seemed like it lasted an eternity, and we just wanted to be home as our new family of 3. The Ronald McDonald house, was definitely a home away from home. We returned every night to grab something to eat and sleep. Some days we would come back for lunch, do some laundry and take a nap. It was definitely more than we could have asked for in a city that we weren’t very familiar with. I will forever be thankful for the Ronald McDonald House, it definitely helped us get through those grueling two weeks of uncertainty. That being said, I know that The Ronald McDonald House Charity could use some help. They rely heavily on donations, so that they can provide for 16 families in need every night (at our location there were 16 families, I believe some houses have more families stay every night). So do your part and follow EatSmart on Twitter, collect those soda can tops, and maybe even volunteer. You can definitely be a part of making someone’s unfortunate circumstances a little bit more comfortable.