This evening, I joined several other Junior League members at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham for our Extra Hands event, a short community service project that everyone in our Junior League chapter is required to do at some point throughout the year. This was my turn.
We had assignments to bring a crockpot of chili or baked potatoes to cook there. While the potatoes were cooking, the night manager showed us a short video about Durham's Ronald McDonald House, and afterward took us on a tour. I was so impressed, yet saddened to hear how many families they have to turn away every year. They're trying to raise $15 million to build a new facility in Durham that will be three times the size (much needed) of the current house, but the economic troubles of the nation have hit the Ronald McDonald House's fundraising efforts as well. This has really made an impression on me, because children just don't stop being sick with serious conditions that require hospitalization, and in some cases, longer term treatment.
After the tour, we joined the families in the dining room for dinner. Jenny and I sat with a little boy named Michael and his mother from Florida. I don't know what the boy's condition was (we enjoyed talking about other things--basketball, the weather), but after supper I saw him again with a face mask on. Another tug on the heart strings.
I wonder how I could help them. One thing I'm thinking about is using one of my races as a fundraiser, setting up an account through Firstgiving. Hmmm. I'll have to give some more thought to my big fall race this year.