RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Today's RED Hearts post is from Jordyn Turney, 19, reporting from Alpine, California, who writes about a charity near and dear to her heart:
My first memory of the Ronald McDonald House Charities:
I'm young. Let's say four or five. Sitting in the car (our old Ford Festiva) next to my mom as we pull through the McDonald's drive-thru. When the cashier hands her change back, my mom drops it into a coin bucket outside the window.
"What’s that for?" I ask her, as I am apparently a very shrewd and observant child. And that's when I learned what this wonderful charity does.
Quite simply, the Houses, located right next to children’s hospitals, keep families close by when their kids are seriously ill. And, trust me, that's huge. It means that families already paying for hospital stays and treatment have a place to stay for little to no cost. If the family can’t pay the $5 to $25 a night, the fee is waived so no one is ever turned away. It means one less thing for the already stressed parents to worry about.
To me personally it meant that when I was in the hospital for weeks having serious surgeries (that nobody ever wants to go through), I always knew my parents and grandparents were right there. It meant that one of my parents could sleep in an actual bed -- instead of, you know, a waiting room chair or something -- while the other one took a shift staying with me.
So next time you go to McDonald's, give your change (or more?) to the Ronald McDonald House. And if you’re looking for a cool place to do community service or just want to help people who need (and seriously appreciate) it, you can find out about volunteer opportunities here.
RED Hearts guest poster Jordyn Turney is an author of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, which was recently published in paperback.