I have never met Val the voice behind Wag'N Tales, but I totally admire her in so many ways. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen me share her post The Life of George...an Update. If you haven't read it, you really should. I did get in trouble for not giving a tissue warning, so have a box handy. If you are like me and have a hard time keeping perspective on what is really important this will do it for you.
I think we all struggle during the holidays to remember what is really important. We spend so much time looking for that perfect gift that we forget that this life is only part of the journey.
While sorting cattle and reflecting on George's thoughts, I came up with a group that I would like you to remember this holiday season and well all year long...the families that stay in the Ronald McDonald Houses over the holidays. The children spending time in the hospital over the holidays didn't do anything to deserve a stay in the hospital, What kind of joy or stress relief you could bring to someone in a very low place in their life?
I have 2 amazing friends that continue to give back to the Ronald McDonald Houses each year. They wrap presents to be given to the families, they cook meals, one family I know spends every Christmas Eve cooking, hosting and delivering gifts after the families go to bed. I spoke with one of them recently and asked what would be appreciated at the houses. I know lots of people like to buy toys at the holidays, but what is really needed.
- Men's gloves and hats. She said dad's are often overlooked in the donations.
- Card games
- Men's and women's lounge pants
- Toiletries. One of my friends ALWAYS picks up all the toiletries in a hotel room. They are a great size to put in a basket until a family can get settled. Things like: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, combs, brushes, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, bars of soap and toothbrushes! (travel sizes are the most useful)
- Individual snacks for grab and go like granola bars, bags of chips, trail mix, because let's face it...if you have a sick child in the hospital the last place you want to hang out is away from them.
- Individual freezer meals. If I had a sick child, I don't know that I would feel like eating much, but something quick and easy would be much appreciated.
- Individual boxes of cereals
- Gift cards for restaurants both fast food and family style
- Gift cards for Gas, Target, Walmart
- Phone Cards I have a friend who works for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City who recommended this a few years ago. We all think we have lots of minutes on our cell phone plans until we are away from home and everyone wants to know what is going on.
My oldest son's club at school is currently collecting pop tabs to send to Ronald McDonald Houses. The tabs are sold for recycling to buy things that aren't donated to the houses.
What charities does your family remember at the holidays? Do you remember them around the year or just at the holidays?