A smooth pregnancy is what all new moms and dads hope will happen. What gets scary is when the pregnancy goes just as it should and then one day, turmoil strikes. Terry and Brittany Murphy had an easy going pregnancy and then 25 weeks in, Brittany was in labor for 12 hours without knowing it. Their daughter, Bralynn, was born early weighing only 1 lb. 10 oz. They were scared, shocked and did not quite know where to turn for rest until they were introduced to the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House.
The next few months felt like a waiting game. Seven weeks in, Bralynn was breathing on her own. After checking in the House and Bralynn seemed to be improving, their outcome was finally looking hopeful.
“I don’t know what we would’ve done without the Ronald McDonald House,” Terry said.
“It’s so nice to have a community of people in the same situation at the House. We can talk amongst each other which helps emotionally.”
Now, Bralynn is breathing well, transitioning into bottle feeding and expected to keep progressing.
We house Hereos. It’s no secret that moms are Superwomen. They’re incredible in every way and notably stronger and loving than most humans. Their job offers no breaks and happens to be every day of the week. They know what you’re thinking before you say it, protect you when you feel threatened, and put you before themselves. They don’t need a batsignal in the sky to accomplish a mission.
We have the strongest mothers that come and go at Ronald McDonald House Charities®. Whether they are here because their child is ill or injured across the street or they happen to be volunteering. They are world changers and encouragers. Giving up on anything isn’t a consideration of theirs.
Here are just a few of the many incredible mothers’ who are apart of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Greater Chattanooga:
1.) They are thankful!
Mother, Yesica, stayed with us when Melody was being taken care of for hypernatremia. She was so thankful for being able to walk across the street and be in arms reach of her beautiful little girl each day.
2.) They pay it forward!
When daughter, Molly, was receiving treatments for cancer, her mother, Angelica, and the rest of her family stayed close by. They were so appreciative for being able to stay with us that they wanted to embrace our infamous motto of “paying it forward” by cooking lunch for the other families. Molly’s big sister, Jackie, and mom made an authentic Mexican dish!
3.) They volunteer!
Mothers from Modern Woodmen brought their children to plant flowers for our courtyard! They’ve taught them from a young age the importance of supporting the local community and helping others.
“Great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands anxiously engaged in a good cause.” – Elder M. Russel Ballard.
The month of April is one of our favorite months of the year; it’s Volunteer Appreciation Month! Volunteering is an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect.1 We consider our volunteers to be the “heartbeat” of the House. Meaning, without our volunteers, our House simply can’t function. Our “heartbeats” participate in helping with administrative work, household chores, preparing meals for the families- and the list continues. Ronald McDonald House Charities volunteers are extraordinary. In fact, some of our volunteers have been with us ever since the House first opened in 1990! We’re beyond thankful for anyone who has volunteered with us and done extraordinary things through service!
We truly believe volunteering is right for everyone; you develop new skills, help a cause that gives you passion, meet new people, connect with your community, expand your horizons and simply pay it forward. To learn more about our volunteer program and how to get involved, click here.
1Georgeou, Nichole, Neoliberalism, Development, and Aid Volunteering, New York: Routledge, 2012.