The folks at the Ronald McDonald house in Augusta are helping bring Christmas cheer to those who can’t be home for the holidays.
This home away from home gives, out-of-town, families a place to stay while their Children are undergoing treatment and care at the hospital.
News Channel 6’s Margaret-Ann Carter visited the home, and spoke to a family who has been with the Ronald McDonald house for three years.
Haley Grace is just seven years old. During her short time on earth she’s had to endure more than most adults can even fathom.
“She has autism and chromosome duplication which is just like a down-syndrome child without the features and many other things that go along with it so your sensory issues just everything that you can imagine,” Haley Grace’s mother, Rachael Peeples said.
She made her first visit to the Ronald McDonald House three years ago experiencing seizures, which led to a brain tumor.
Now she and her family drive five hours once a month for treatments, which can last weeks.
“They’re family they’re family and you can’t beat that because when you’re away from home and you have no family here you need somebody,” Peeples said.
Rachael Peeples says it’s especially hard being away from family during the Holidays, but the Ronald McDonald House makes it feel like home.
“We’ve been trying to make the families feel like they are home even though they aren’t home. So we’ve done everything we can we’ve done Christmas baking Christmas trees,” Betts Murdison, President of the House said.
The CSRA community donated loads of toys for the ‘Santa Shop’ which is a room in the Ronald McDonald House where kids can go and get gifts for Christmas.
“They provide free food. They just gave my kids toys, they had us go in Santa shop upstairs and they got to go shopping. To see the kid’s faces light up, because ‘oh we’re here at the hospital once again, but oh somebody cares enough to donate a toy so that I can be happy,” she explained.
Peeples says just having that little bit of normalcy is so important.
“To see your kids smile when they are going through so much just means the world,” Peeples fought back tears as she talked about her gratitude for the Ronald McDonald House.
The Ronald McDonald houses families year round and they always need help.
They always need monetary donations and volunteers to help out around the house. They need people to bring food for the home. As well as, anything used to clean the house or toothbrushes, paper towels etc.