It doesn’t always have to be someone. It can also be some “thing”. Especially when the thing is like a living, breathing entity – giving shelter, warmth, hope and healing.
If everyone has a story – and they do – so can a “thing” where stories are written and shared every day.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.
The Sunday Series (104): A New Home For Hope
Put one foot in front of the other,
And soon you’ll be walkin’ cross the floor.
Put one foot in front of the other,
And soon you’ll be walkin’ out the door.
– Lyrics from One Foot in Front of the Other: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
That’s exactly what we did. Thousands gathered to put their feet on the ground, (many in their red and white socks), and once again help The House That Love Built to reach for the stars.
Except this year was different. This year was even more special. This year before the first runner/walker passed the starting line there was an announcement: the House would soon have a new Home.
More on the big announcement in a minute. First the walk – The Red Shoe Shuffle.
Red and white was the theme of the day. And why not, they are part of the colors of the House, the colors of Santa Claus, (a true giver to children), and the colors of the spirit of that big holiday – one which is focused on giving.
Sometimes pictures can speak a thousand words – here now just a few from this year’s Shuffle.
Another amazing event. More gratitude then it’s possible to express. But the tireless advocate and President of the Ronald McDonald House, Sandy Pagnotti, said it best in her Facebook post just a few days ago:
$360k raised, 2,600 participants and 200 volunteers! Amazing, incredible and humbling! Today is the day I have the impossible task of trying to express the depth of gratitude I have for the volunteers and supporters of RMH & The Red Shoe Shuffle 2016.
What started out as an idea for a fundraiser a few years ago has evolved into a Celebration of Community and Love like no other in town. Shuffle Sunday is the happiest day of the year in Baltimore and we could not do it without your help.
Every small bit has added up to BIG impact for the children of RMH. That’s what community is…. everyone doing what they can, when they can, to carry each other through. I’m so proud of everyone involved and appreciate every dollar, every volunteer hour, every early morning alarm clock setting, every step shuffled, and every ounce of love and support shown to our kids and families.
Best job in the world… best people in my life… best hearts in town surrounding RMH. Thank You is not enough, but… thank you.
Thank you can never be enough. And it’s always all about the kids. Every parent who has a child would do anything in the world they could for the one they love. And any parent who sees, or even knows another child who is hurting, who needs healing and support – is ready to do what they can to try and bring joy to that child’s journey of suffering. The late Steve Jobs said we are all here to put a giant dent in the universe. When a child is suffering they too leave a dent, directly on our hearts.
It’s why we walk, it’s why we volunteer, it’s why we give, it’s why we love.
Understand the mission of the House: each year thousands of children are treated in Baltimore hospitals for life-saving medical care. They come with their families from all over Maryland, the United States and even the world. Many of these families are blessed to find physical and emotional refuge through the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore. It has been proven, children heal faster when surrounded by their families.
But to expand the healing and the love there needs to be a change. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.
So here’s the low-down on what will be going up, as long as the funding is secured:
After extensive strategic planning, the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore has determined an urgent and compelling need to build a new Ronald McDonald House to meet the growing demand. We have launched a capital campaign with an estimated need of $25 million that will build Our New House, ensuring Baltimore continues offering access to not only the best pediatric care, but the most effective and compassionate family-centered care in the world.
The new Ronald McDonald House, which will be built at 1200 E. Baltimore Street, will reflect a commitment to incorporate best practices into all of our programs and services. Each amenity included in the design of the new house was carefully selected through input from staff, volunteers and families. The new House will serve approximately 55 families daily and 2,200 families annually through:
- 9 two-bedroom suites specifically designed for oncology, bone marrow and transplant patients
- 45 rooms that sleep up to 5 guests each and allow for larger families through adjoining rooms
- Strategically designed gathering spaces that promote interaction among guests (family room, playroom, kitchen and full-size laundry room)
- A Serenity Room for solitude, meditation and respite
- A state-of-the-art Family Business Center and Classroom with computers, printers, and internet for parents who must continue work and to provide a normal classroom environment for students experiencing extended stays
- A fully accessible outdoor playground with an adjacent picnic and dining area for outdoor meals and special events
- The Teen Room – for older children, allowing them to have private time alone or with peers who are experiencing similar situations
- A beautiful rooftop garden and large conference room with spectacular views of the city
In all transparency, I am a member of the Executive Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore. So from an inside-out view I can attest to the dedication, devotion and tireless efforts of those who have spear-headed the initial phase of contribution-gathering, or should I say simply asking. It is a wonder to behold and it’s because they never lose site of the mission to help and to serve for these children and for the vision of never having to turn away a family that needs the healing and hope from the House.
Give. Ask. Receive.
That’s what we are hoping for – more donations. Nearly $18 million of the $25 million needed has already been pledged. It’s the most expansive undertaking this local Ronald McDonald House has ever experienced and there can be no turning back. Because you can never turn your back on children in need. Our present. Our future. Our hope.
Every child deserves a chance and every family of that child deserves the best and the most we can give.
It’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Walk the walk. (Step).
Talk the talk. (Step)
Be bold enough to ask for help to to make tomorrow better than today for the children. (Step)
Working to bring Baltimore a new Home for Hope (Finish Line)
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
Join the Tribe! Enter your name & e-mail address into the box on the blog and get posts sent directly to your inbox!
Huffington Post: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky/)
The Profile: (http://www.talkinggood.com/profiles/MarkBrodinsky)
USHEALTH Advisors: (http://www.prweb.com/releases/markbrodinsky/072015/prweb12862708.htm)