Mary’s Pantry May Challenge

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Two generous local partners want to help the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House® raise $150,000 for Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund. They’ve committed to matching every dollar that is donated up to $75,000. When you give a dollar, it becomes two! Once the goal has been met, the income generated from the endowment fund will purchase the needed food for families all year long. 

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Every night at 6 p.m., 26 families enjoy a cooked meal prepared by volunteers. The House also offers a “help yourself” kitchen that families are welcome to use as their own. There are food and drinks in the fridge, desserts, frozen foods, canned goods and every kitchen utensil needed.

“Mary’s Pantry at the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House is the “grocery store” for all the food functions that feed both the families residing at the Ronald McDonald House and the visitors to the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Children’s Hospital at Erlanger,” says RMHC President & CEO, Jane Kaylor.

The Ronald McDonald House has to purchase essential and nutritious items to create a balanced meal like meats, milk, butter, eggs and supplies to make frozen dinners out of leftovers. Contributions to Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund will make these purchases possible. 

Mary’s Pantry was started in honor of a very faithful volunteer, Mary Stancil.  Mary found her mission in making sure all donations were used efficiently and that nothing went to waste. 

The Ronald McDonald House is teaming up with all Chattanooga area Chili’s restaurants on May 23 for a Give Back Night. A percentage of sales will be donated to the endowment fund. On May 25, the Chattanooga Lookouts will be hosting “Mary’s Pantry Night at the Ball Park.” Stay tuned! A well-known local celebrity may even get a pie in the face after the first inning.

“Bacon is known for food and money and the Ronald McDonald House is a home. That’s why we found #BringHomeTheBacon so fitting for this campaign. We’re raising funds so RMHC families can worry less about where their next meal will come from and focus more on their sick child. Plus, who doesn’t love bacon?” says Communications Coordinator, Victoria Tropiano.

Stayed tuned for upcoming social media videos, photos, former RMHC family testimonials and campaign contests. For more information about how you can help bring home the bacon, click here or facebook.com/rmhchattanooga and use the hashtags #BringHomeTheBacon and #Match4MarysPantry.

A Second Visit

cropped.jpgAmanda and T.J. Dockery of Murphy, North Carolina once stayed at the Ronald McDonald House® in 2007 when their son Jack was born 16 weeks early. Little did they know, it wouldn’t be their last visit. On Feb. 18, their daughter Hannah was born six weeks early. In addition to being premature, she struggled to eat.

They checked in for their second time just a few days after Hannah’s birth on Feb. 23. Since Amanda was only a short distance from the hospital thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, she was able to be by Hannah’s side and encourage her.

“[Hannah] eats better when I’m feeding her and wouldn’t have progressed as well without the interaction. If it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House, I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her.” Amanda said.

While she made sure Hannah was receiving the proper nutrition, Amanda had to get some nutrition of her own. Staying at the Ronald McDonald House served as a gateway for food and rest in order to rejuvenate during a fearful time.

Other than the rest, one of Amanda and T.J.’s favorite parts about the House was the flexibility it offered. Their mothers, Wendy and Gloria, came to visit and help every now and then. Jack was able to visit on the weekends and take advantage of the teen lounge equipped with air hockey and pool tables, board games, computers, a television and plush chairs.

“When Jack comes to visit, the game room is comforting to him. It’s neat to show him that we once stayed here when he was small.”

The Dockery family checked out on March 13 after staying for 19 nights. Today, Hannah is growing and doing well in her own home.

Meet the Stephens Family

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Randy and Beth Stephens of Cleveland, Tennessee have three children, John, Will and Kate who anticipated meeting their newborn sister Annie on Dec. 21. Between finding out Annie suffered from dandy-walker syndrome, a human brain malformation, and seizures in the hospital which caused Annie to also have hydrocephalus, an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain, it was uncertain on when Annie’s siblings could meet their newborn sister.

On Dec. 28, Randy and Beth found refuge in the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House. “This place just highlights all the good in the world,” said Randy Stephens. They considered the House to be an “absolute blessing,” as Beth described it. When they found refuge, they started to find hope.

On Christmas Eve, Annie had a shunt put in to help with her hydrocephalus.

After being separated while their parents tended to their baby sister, John, Will and Kate were finally able to stay with them at the Ronald McDonald House. “My little girl would cry at night because we had to be separated.” Because they were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, they could all be together and not miss memories.

Other than being able to stay close to Annie and have the rest of the family stay with them from time to time, Beth appreciated being able to meet others at the House who were also experiencing hardship, “I love the sense of community and meeting other people.”

IMG_1046After days of constant prayer, surgery and care, Annie was discharged from the NICU. Randy and Beth checked out of the Ronald McDonald House on Jan. 18. 

For 21 days they found rejuvenation in the “House that Love built.” “It made all the difference in the world,” Randy said.

Today Annie has a bright future. Her brothers and sisters immersed her with love and were ecstatic when she came home for the first time. “My 7-year-old waved us in. I’ve never seen his face light up so much.”

Give a little extra. Love a little extra.

 

View More: http://krystalwoodsphotography.pass.us/ronaldmcdonaldhouseAs you know, we have a leap year nearly every four years. We see this as an extra day to do good. Tell a family member you love them, call a friend who lives far away to catch up or help a stranger. Whatever you do be thankful for the extra day you have.

On this day, we’re giving you the opportunity to give a little extra to our Ronald McDonald House food pantry, called Mary’s Pantry. We strive to offer RMHC families a place to rest and eat hot meals and snacks. It’s our desire to provide them enough rest and the right nutrition so they can be strong for their child.

By the way, every dollar you donate doubles!
(Click this hyperlink above and click the “Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund” tab to learn more.)

A generous local partner wants to help the Ronald McDonald House raise $150,000 for Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund. They’ve committed to matching every dollar that you donate up to $75,000. When you give a dollar…it becomes two. Once the goal has been met, the income generated from the endowment fund will purchase the needed food for families all year long.

DONATE NOW

#Match4MarysPantry

Triple the Love

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Neisha Brophy and husband Brandon were already blessed with two sons Bentley and Caden before a triple blessing came their way. Yes, that’s right! On Jan. 4, 2016, they welcomed triplet girls, Paxley, Paisley, and Presley at 34 weeks at Erlanger Hospital.

While the girls had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Neisha and Brandon were wary about the commute from their home to the Erlanger NICU. This led to Neisha and Brandon checking-in to the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House®.

Hailing from Calhoun, Georgia, they considered it a miracle to be able to stay at a place that enabled them to be just footsteps from their daughters. “If it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House, I would have had to drive an hour back and forth each day to see the girls,” Neisha says.

The House provided them a place to recover and rest; you can only imagine being parents outnumbered by newborns. Their two sons were able to visit and stay with family.

After seven days of staying at the House, they were able to travel home with Paxley and Paisley. Presley stayed in the NICU a little while longer until she reached 4 lbs.

The family who once was a family of four and now seven is doing well and enjoying the big family feel. It was so nice to see this family grow in size and love.

The Miracle Child

IMG_5624Ellsie and Jimmy Castro from Cartersville, Georgia were covered in happiness over the birth of their son, Ryan, also known as their “little miracle.” His nickname couldn’t be more fitting looking at the Castro’s past experience with childbirth. Even though Ryan was their fourth pregnancy, he was their first success story. Unfortunately, their other children had passed away during pregnancy. They never lost hope and in return, Ryan is their miracle child. Although, his birth didn’t go smoothly.  IMG_5622

After an emergency caesarean section, Ryan was born 7.5 weeks early on Nov. 23 weighing 3.7 lbs. Ryan was in the NICU for three weeks and hooked up to oxygen for several hours. Ellsie was discharged from the hospital five days later. “I had anxiety being too far from Ryan,” Ellsie says.

Weight released off her shoulders when she checked in to the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House. “This place is amazing and welcoming. The ability to stay at the House and so close to Ryan is wonderful.”

After 14 nights, Ellsie and Jimmy returned home safely with their new bundle of joy.

#GivingTuesday

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DONATE NOW

Tomorrow on Giving Tuesday, we’re raising funds for our Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House food pantry, called Mary’s Pantry. We strive to take care of our families by providing a place to sleep and eat nutricious meals. It’s our desire to provide them the right nutrition through Mary’s Pantry so they can be strong for their child.

We’re encouraging you to donate to this fund. Why? It’s simple… our families need to eat. The best part? Your donation doubles! You heard right.

A generous local partner wants to help the Ronald McDonald House raise $150,000 for Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund. They’ve committed to matching every dollar that you donate up to $75,000. When you give a dollar…it becomes two. Once the goal has been met, the income generated from the endowment fund will purchase the needed food for families all year long.  

This fund will allow the future food needs at the Ronald McDonald House to be met.

Will you help us meet our goal of $150,000 on this #GivingTuesday? Remember, every dollar doubles!

DONATE NOW

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