Moms all over the world were the center of attention Sunday in one of the most sentimental holidays of the spring season — Mother’s Day.
For those moms staying at the Ronald McDonald House, Mother’s Day is like any other day. They spend untold hours at the hospital, waiting and attending to a critically ill or injured child, hoping for good news that he or she will recover and go home soon.
In those families, Ronald McDonald House becomes the “home away from home.”
To celebrate Mother’s Day, McDonald’s delivered a moment of pampering for moms waiting in a Ronald McDonald House. Gift baskets of bath, body and spa products were given to 179 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout U.S. to honor the extraordinary mothers who sacrifice for their children and families.
McDonald’s partnered with 1-800-Flowers on the program.
One such family, Rachel and Andrew Brammeier, are the parents of a premature baby treated at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital In St. Petersburg.
On Sunday, the couple received a McDonald’s gift basket from the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay.
According to the RMHC website, the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay, which serves 2,000 pediatric families annually, is a nonprofit Florida corporation that operates four Houses; three in St. Petersburg and one in Tampa, providing 80 bedrooms with private baths.
The first RMHC house in Florida, St. Pete West, opened in 1980 with 18 bedrooms adjacent to All Children’s Hospital. The 14-bedroom Tampa House opened in 1992 on Davis Islands serving families at Tampa General, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital.
Opened in 1996, St. Pete East is the largest Ronald McDonald House in the region, with 34 bedrooms located next to All Children’s Hospital. The newest is St. Pete Central, which opened in March 2010 inside the new Outpatient Care Center at All Children’s Hospital. That house offers 14 bedrooms.
Chapters across the country also sponsor other support programs, such as a Ronald McDonald Family Room, a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and college scholarships for high school students. Franchises partner with local chapters for fundraising events, with many employees serving as volunteers in the houses.
Also, McDonald’s conducts an annual fundraiser called McHappy Day, which raised $150 million for RMHC and children’s charities worldwide.