Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Ronald MacDonald House in Winston~Salem, North Carolina

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Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Ronald MacDonald House in Winston-Salem and was able to see first hand what an amazing and special place it is. I was excited to be invited to a Carolina Blogger’s Event which was hosted by the Ronald MacDonald house to give us a sneak peak at the beautifully remodeled and expanded house and to also give us the opportunity to meet other bloggers from the area.  Here is a photo of all of us.  It was so fun to meet each and every one of them.

The house which just recently completed an 18 bedroom expansion and remodeling is hosting an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony tomorrow to celebrate the expansion which will now allow them to host even more families who have children in the care of Brenner’s Children’s Hospital or Forsyth Medical Center in Winston- Salem, North Carolina.  

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We were able to tour the house which looks like 4 separate houses from the front but if you go around to the back of the house (where I happened to park) you can see that all four of these houses have been connected.  When you are inside the houses you can see that all four of the houses are connected seamlessly into one huge home (31,000 square feet with 35 bedrooms) and the house just flows from one gorgeous room to the next. 

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I took so many photos of this beautiful place.  Each room was decorated and furnished with nothing but he best. And the colors used were so current, fresh, and calming.  Lot’s of blues’s and greens were used and the artwork on the walls was incredible too. 


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There is nothing more frightening than a sick child and the RMH gives the families of these sick children a place to stay where there is support of the staff and the other families staying there who understand what these families are going through.  569 families from all around the state of North Carolina were  hosted by the Ronald MacDonald House just last year and the new expansion will allow them to host an additional 700 families!! 

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If you think about how difficult it would be to be away from your home with a sick child you can see how having a beautiful and supportive place to stay would be such a relief to the families staying here.  The house has everything a guest could need.  In addition to the gorgeous kitchen and bedrooms with their own bathrooms, guest also have access to a huge laundry room, playrooms and a playground in the back for little ones, a rec room for teenagers, and a family room to share and meet with some of the other guests.  And best of all, the house is just across the street from Brenner’s Children’s Hospital and only 2 miles from Forsyth Medical Center.

We started our tour by meeting first in the kitchen…my favorite room in any house and this room was huge.  I loved the blue colors they used on the walls and in the tiles.  There were duplicates of all the appliances.   Stainless steel dishwashers, cooking ranges, and even trash compactors.  Beautiful cabinets and counter tops. 

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I was amazed at how many volunteers actively donate their time, energy , and money.  More than 260 “regular” volunteers and counting.  Meals are prepared and served by some of these volunteers every day of the week for the families staying here.  Monday night is the only exception which is “McDonald”s Night” and on that night families are treated to a McDonald’s meal of their choice. 

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And look at this beautiful eating area. 

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A beautiful and huge room for the families staying here to share their meals in. 


And I got to meet this happy guy.  His name is Watson and he lives at the RMH.  He helps keep the guests of RMH company and he also co-writes The Ronald MacDonald House of Winston-Salem Blog with the very sweet Laura Walsh who was also a pleasure to meet!   It was such a pleasure to spend part of my day meeting and visiting with all of the people who make this place so special.  It was also very fun for me to meet some of the other bloggers in my area face to face.  If you ever get the chance to support the RMH I hope you do.  The work they do and the comfort they provide to families with sick children is incredibly worthwhile.  Click on this link to learn more about The Ronald McDonald House Charities and the important work they do.  Thanks to everyone I met today who made this event so fun and the tour so memorable!


RNSANE said...

What a wonderful post to read on this sad day in the lives of citizens of the United States. It is so nice that the Ronald MacDonald Houses offer so much to families with hospitalized children who need the support and access to their loved ones that this type of facility offers. Blessing to all the volunteers and contributors to this worthwhile charity.

It was nice that you got to meet fellow bloggers in your area.

The Pleasures of Homemaking said...

That's so wonderful that they have a dog that lives there! I'm sure the children love him! Thanks for the tour. I've always wondered what their houses looked like!


Rachel H said...

Good to finally meet you in person today!!!

Rachel H said...
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Jo said...

This is an amazing organization. I was treated to a tour of the RMH home in Michigan. They do everything possible to make it feel like their home away from home.

Wonderful post!


Erin said...

It was so great to meet you! And what a wonderful home away from home, no? When my mom asked if I had met my friend (meaning you), I affirmed, then she asked if we talked. I said no, we only know how to be friends online, so we just kind of looked at each other.

Although I will say that I'm much more eloquent...wait, I mean

Melanie said...

What a wonderful day for you. That is such a great organization and the place looks wonderful. Very warm and welcoming.

Anonymous said...

It is so nice to see that the families that need it have such a homey place to stay and have support. Love the little dog too! xo

Kim Williams said...

Great post and wonderful recap of the experience!

Enjoyed meeting you and I look forward to keeping up with your blog!


CosmoGirl Carla said...

RMH's are an absolute godsend to so many families. Me and my oldest son went with our church youth group several years ago to prepare and serve a meal to the guests of our local RMH. It was a humbling experience. Each and every person we served was so grateful to be able to have a warm and inviting place to stay while their children were receiving the care they needed at the Children's Hospital.

The RMH you toured is just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your visit and experience.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

THose homes seem like SUCH A blessing!

Thank you for stopping by! And I LOVE the sign in the post below! Love me some stinky cheese!

Trish said...

Thanks for sharing your post!!! I was trying to get there to be a blogger too, but life happened. So nice to see your pictures and read your words!

foxy said...

One of my best friends recently had the benefit of using the RMH in Austin for a few weeks while her son was in the ICU there after a bad car accident. That place and the people behind it are a true blessing.

Laura said...

What a wonderful post Lisa. Your pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for coming to see that House and for spreading the word about our programs. It was a pleasure to meet you. Please stay in touch!

Laura & Watson of RMH W-S