Ronald McDonald House – Your Purchase Counts

Ronald McDonald House Charities Stamp Set

Giving Back Through Your Purchase

When I signed up to be a Stampin Up Demonstrator, I honestly had no idea they supported Ronald McDonald House. Each year Stampin Up chooses a stamp set that with every sale of that particular set, $3 is donated to this wonderful charity.

I can’t tell you what that means to me, but I’ll try. You see, my oldest daughter Anna is a cancer survivor. Throughout her treatment, we stayed with Ronald McDonald House many, many times.

I’ll start by telling you which stamp set you can choose to make sure your purchase counts, and then I’ll tell you more about our experiences there. You’ll see how amazing and how needed it is.

Sharing Sweet Thoughts

Ronald McDonald House Stamp Set
© Stampin Up

For the 2017-2018 catalog, when you purchase “Sharing Sweet Thoughts” Stampin Up will donate $3 of the proceeds to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Since 2003, over 1.5 million dollars has been donated through Stampin Up purchases.

You can get this set in wood mount, or clear mount. Don’t forget, if you choose clear mount, you’ll need clear blocks to use with it. Even though it’s not part of the portion that goes to charity, you might also like the everyday jars framelits dies to use with this stamp set.

Ronald McDonald House Charities
Credit: Jessica Winter

Our Story

Ronald McDonald House - Anna

Now that you know how you can make your purchase count, I’ll tell you more about why you should. In our case, we had already spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. Anna’s treatment went on for three years, and included a grueling bone marrow transplant to heal her.

When you’re not actually on the hospital floor, there are still times you need tests and lab work at a particular hospital away from home. Over time, this gets expensive if you have to pay for a hotel and buy food.

It used to be that RMHC would ask for a donation to stay overnight. Now, they leave it up to you if you can or can’t, and they never hassle you about it. We never could give anything, as we simply didn’t have it to give at that time.

We met families that had children dealing with all sorts of illnesses and accidents. They were as desperate as we were. We all needed to focus on taking care of our children…not hotel fees, food, and how we were going to get back and forth to the hospital. RMHC eliminated all of those worries. No, they didn’t feed us McDonald’s food. Let me tell you more about what they offer:

Staying At Ronald McDonald House

The facilities that we stayed at were much like a hotel. We had a room with a room key. There are no televisions in the rooms, but there are common rooms at the end of each hall with televisions.

They had a “teen room” with computers and games, and a children’s play room with toys and dress up clothes. Wifi is available, so we took our laptop and streamed shows through it.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available every day for free. Typically for breakfast a volunteer will set out pastries and cereals, and they make fresh coffee. For lunch, you can get anything you would like out of the cabinets such as a can of soup to heat and eat. Otherwise, you can check the refrigerator for leftovers from the night before.

Each night, a church group or other community group comes and makes a nice dinner. They’ll have a main dish such a lasagna, a salad, a side, and dessert. Usually there’s a card to sign left out on the counter so that the families can say thanks for the meal.

The rest of the day, anything that’s left out (pastries or cupcakes in a cake dome) you are welcome to.

Making Your Child Feel Special

The volunteers at Ronald McDonald House do everything they can to make your child feel special. When we arrived each time, there were gifts waiting on our beds for the girls including books, toys, and sometimes stuffed animals.

We must have four different “Thirty One” bags, as each time we stayed we got a new one. This was so helpful in carrying our things to the hospital and having an extra bag to pack things to take home.

Ronald McDonald House Special Bag
One of the “Thirty One” bags we received at RMHC

One night, my youngest had forgotten her stuffed animal to sleep with. All I could think to do was go downstairs and ask if they happened to have one. The volunteer opened a closet and let her pick from the pile of toys and stuffed animals they had. She made sure that we took another one up for Anna too.

Getting to The Hospital

Most Ronald McDonald House Charities are located within walking distance to a nearby hospital. You can also call for the hospital shuttle service to pick you up.  You never have to worry about getting to the hospital in the rain or driving yourself over and dealing with parking.

What Is Required of You

Since you’re getting a free night’s stay and the place is run by volunteers, they do ask you to clean your room. You’ll be given a list when you check in. Before leaving, you simply go through the list and make sure all the chores are done.

In common areas there are posted checklists of daily chores. Let’s say you go to the kitchen and see the dishes in the dishwasher are clean. You can unload them and check that off on the posted list with your signature.

The common area chores are up to you to volunteer. For your room, you won’t be able to leave until you’ve cleaned it. They’ll have a volunteer go check your room. If you leave really early like I always did, I just left my checklist at the front desk and they could call me if there was an issue. There never was.

At The Hospital

At each hospital we stayed in, there was also a RMHC room on the floor, or a station somewhere in the hospital. Parents could use computers, get free snacks, or just meet up and talk with other parents.  I remember at Arnold Palmer Hospital, they had a lot of cherry coke.

I would go and grab three or four to keep in my room (as long as there were more than that) and always have cherry coke on hand in the hospital room. Anna didn’t like me leaving for very long at all. They never minded that I took a bunch of soda at once. That’s what it was there for… the parents!

The Immense Blessing of Ronald McDonald House

Doing the things we needed to do would have been so much harder without RMHC. I still tear up when I think of those times. It is an amazing charity to invest in. I’m so happy I get the chance to give back.

Anna? She’s doing amazing. She’s been cancer free for two years now. These days she’s back in school, playing with her sister, and always asking to stamp! Both my girls love taking plain copy paper and stamping all over it.

Ronald McDonald House - Anna is well

I hope through this post you can see what a helpful and much needed charity the Ronald McDonald House truly is. It is dear to our hearts. If you have any experiences that you would like to share, you are welcome to comment!

I hope that you will purchase and love the sharing sweet thoughts stamp set. With it, you know that you are helping RMHC do all the things I’ve mentioned above for families who really need it.

To get yours, type in “Sharing sweet thoughts” in the search bar at Stampin Up demonstrator website. Then choose which set you like best (wood mount or clear mount.) Thank you.