We do it in Alexander's Honour and also to teach the kids a sense of charity.
It's important to our family.
For the past two years, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and The Ottawa General Hospital have been the recipients of our gifts.
This year was different.
After hearing a touching letter from a parent that had been supported by Ronald McDonald House (read by Cathy Loblaw at ShesConnected 2012), I knew that Ronald McDonald House Ottawa would be this year's recipient.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has a global network of Chapters in 52 countries under three core programs: Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.
The McDonald's Restaurant across Canada and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada lends support to the 12 Canadian Houses through the Ten Cent Happy Meal Program. While both are long-term committed partners, the Ottawa Chapter needs to fundraise in the community for the day-to-day operation costs and the majority of their financial obligations.
This community resource relies entirely on individuals, community groups and businesses in Ottawa and surrounding areas for funding. A dedicated group of volunteers supplements the services and support offered to families and assists in the ongoing fundraising for the House.
The brick house is situated on a large lot with circular drive, mature trees and lots of squirrels.
It's right across the street from the hospital doors and a fenced in play structure which the kids had the pleasure of playing on.
A Home Away from Home.
The inside of the house was warm and inviting. Complete with a huge stuffed teddy the size a big bear!
Although we didn't stay there while the kids were in the hospital, we could have.
Knowing that it was available, gave us peace of mind.
Given the time of year and that the house was full of families, Carol Houston, Executive Director was very busy.
However, she kindly made the time to give my Mother a quick tour and let the kids put their presents under the Christmas Tree.
Many of the parents are too busy, stressed or financially burdened to purchase gifts.
Even though they want to.
Carol told us that some will be used for Birthday presents or "Just Because" gifts.
Our visit was enjoyable. Given the circumstances.
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A big thanks to all the Companies that unknowingly donated their products to sick kids and their siblings.
Note that it has taken me since November to publish this post. The ones about Alexander always take longer. Sigh.