It is forever about the children.
We are now just a few days removed from what is quickly becoming a signature event on the streets of Baltimore: The Red Shoe Shuffle to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. You can still feel the loving vibration of thousands footsteps focused on giving. Nearly three thousand people made their way through the streets of Baltimore to help those who cannot help themselves… as well as the families who stand by their side in the hopes of healing. Each year, more than 1,400 families arrive at the doorstep of the House in search of hope.
On a sun-kissed Sunday in April, and for the fourth year-in-a-row where the weather has been this divine, you start to believe there might just be some divine intervention to have a day this nice – proof that God has a special place in his heart for children. And it’s the reason we walk, it’s always about the children.
The Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore is the home away from home for the families of children in need. Children being treated for serious illness, dealing with physical challenges, many from birth, or a host of other maladies or injuries in this journey we call life. Some heal, some don’t. For more than 30 years the House has been there, not to affect the outcome, but to provide whatever joy to the journey is possible for the children and the families that love them. A child can heal faster when his/her family is close at hand. And when a child is suffering, it’s the only place a parent wants to be… as close as they can get.
The Red Shoe Shuffle started four years ago as a way to help raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House, and is now quickly becoming a popular fund-raising event each April. Fittingly this year the 5-k run/walk wound its way through the heart of Downtown Baltimore, even along the promenade at the Inner Harbor, the place that more than 30 years ago put a struggling city back on the map.
And you couldn’t ask for a more perfect morning to run, jog or stroll and to feel the power of love. All along the route there were volunteers to cheer you on – or even offer a free hug, sharing the love and making sure this would be the start to a perfect day for all who participated. The goal of this year’s Shuffle, to raise $300,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore – the end total: $345,000!!
It’s all about community involvement, the incredible power of giving and it’s about the children, it is forever about the children. The late Nelson Mandela put it this way: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
There is little more inspiration you need in life than to look into the eyes of a child, sick, injured or simply in need of your love. Even the eyes and soul of the healthiest of children need the care and compassion we all can bring to life, for our future lies within them. It is our duty, responsibility and legacy to do the best we can to secure the path for those who will hopefully follow in our footsteps.
They say God gives you two hands in life, one to help yourself and one to help other people. This past Sunday thousands of people placed their hands on their hearts and reached out to touch the heart of a child in need.
Heart to heart.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
(To donate to The Ronald McDonald House: (https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/rmh-baltimore/gift.aspx?id=1)
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Huffington Post Blogger, Speaker, Emmy Winner, Financial Services
The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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