Give Joy 2020 with Ronald McDonald House

Give Joy - Ronald McDonald House | Rochester Mom

Our 6th Annual Give Joy Gift Drive

with Ronald McDonald House

Purchase gifts or donate to Ronald McDonald House this holiday season!

We are now in our 6th year of supporting Ronald McDonald House through the holidays through our Give Joy campaign.  In previous years, we have encouraged you to bring in your gift donations to Ronald McDonald House and we would bring them into the house for you.

Due to Covid-19 extenuating circumstances this year…we have to get a bit creative.  As most of the families staying at Ronald McDonald House were already high risk before the pandemic, it is utterly crucial that we do everything we can to keep these kids and their families safe.

While Covid has stopped a lot of things in the world…childhood illness continues on.  We STILL need to bring hope to families, we STILL have an opportunity to show our community the love of our motherhood sisterhood.

Rochester Mom is proud to partner with Ronald McDonald House – Rochester for this very special opportunity to give back to our community this holiday season.

About Give Joy

Friends, you are a giving and loving community.  Time and time again, we hear from you as you’re looking for ways to serve, volunteer, and give back to your community.  You have a strong desire to teach kindness and service to your children and this makes our hearts swell.  We have a great opportunity for you to give back this holiday season.  The Ronald McDonald House Rochester is looking to stock their very special Snowflake Room for the holidays. This room allows families staying at the Ronald McDonald house to “shop” for gifts to give their loved ones while staying in the home.  Can you imagine being far away from home during the holidays in a city you don’t know with your family no where close?

Please consider donating or purchasing new items from their Holiday Wish List to stock the Snowflake Room at Ronald McDonald House! For details on how to give, please click here

As mothers, we look for ways to teach our children about generosity and giving out of a grateful heart to others.  As moms, we are looking for ways to give that allows us to involve our children while understanding that we sometimes face limitations in how and when we can serve others. The Give Joy drive allows us the opportunity to give within the unique parameters of motherhood.

Use the hashtag #givejoyrochmn to document you and your family engaging with this special giving campaigning and follow along with all the great JOY that is sure to come!

Many of these families will never know Rochester, MN outside of the context of medical treatment and necessity.  Let’s take this opportunity to shower these families with blessings as they are at their most vulnerable and scared.  We have the real opportunity to Give Joy to many and to truly make a difference with our actions this holiday season. Read on about one family that was able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House in 2020.

The Curious Case of Camilla

photo: Crystal Hedberg Photography
photo: Crystal Hedberg Photography

“We started noticing seizures—very focal seizures,” said Lindsey, Camilla’s mom. “The first thing I did was call Mayo Clinic—it is the best hospital in the world.”

Mayo Clinic diagnosed Camilla with a brain tumor. It was originally considered benign, but there were significant complications. The doctors ordered a 48-hour electroencephalogram (EEG) to detect abnormalities in Camilla’s brain waves and electrical activity in her brain. The results were staggering.

“The EEG revealed eight seizures—almost all occurring in her sleep,” Lindsey said. “We didn’t even know it was happening at night.”

“That’s my baby,” said Lindsey. “I said: ‘I want it out of her.’ The sooner, the better.”

Surgery was successful, but doctors were still worried about her motor skills. The next morning…Camilla walked and her left side was functioning normally.

Two weeks later, pathology revealed Camilla’s tumor was malignant and Grade III—it was cancerous, it spreads and it tends to come back. Her prognosis was three years.

“Our world was turned upside down,” Lindsey said.

Camilla needed proton beam radiation—33 treatments over seven weeks. Rochester is not particularly close to home and Kody and Lindsey have two other daughters.

That is when a Mayo Clinic social worker told them about the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. Kody and Lindsey didn’t know much about the Ronald McDonald House, but their stay would drastically impact Camilla’s recovery.

“When we moved into the Ronald McDonald House, everything changed for Camilla,” Lindsey said. “Instead of focusing on her therapy and all of her pain and fears, she focused on the Ronald McDonald House.”

Camilla made friends with kids of all ages; Lindsey felt supported by other moms. The family enjoyed activities and dinners. It became home.

Lindsey said the House eased their burdens on a very painful journey. Volunteers help relieve stress by doing anything and everything for children and families, including cleaning areas multiple times each day. Lindsey said the House is “spotless” and a “very safe place for kids undergoing cancer treatment.”

“Volunteers are all so loving, kind, and compassionate,” said Lindsey. “They all had a smile on their face and made us feel welcome.

Camilla’s case is not closed—she will come back every three months for a MRI. However, following surgery and proton beam radiation…it was all clear. There is no tumor. But the prognosis doesn’t change: because it is Grade III, chances are high it will come back.

Through it all, Kody and Lindsey have been impressed with Camilla’s attitude strength and resiliency. And it all started at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester.

“When Camilla finished her treatments, she didn’t want to leave the House,” Lindsey said. “When she received a clear scan and rang the bell, she wanted to celebrate at the House. For her birthday, she wants to have a party at the House.

“The House is so special.”

Photo credit: Crystal Hedberg Photography

How to Participate in Give Joy

There are 4 unique ways for you to be involved in our Give Joy campaign:

  1. Purchase from the Ronald McDonald House Amazon Wish-List or Target Wish-List and have it shipped to the House on or before, Tuesday, December 1st – Giving Tuesday.  This will give the House plenty of time to prepare the Snowflake Room for families to shop!
  2. Donate directly to the Ronald McDonald House here and help us reach our $1000 goal!:
  3. If you plan to attend our virtual HoHoHome with Santa: A RochMN Holiday Experience event, you may donate to the Give Joy campaign at the time of ticket purchase!  Donations come with a special gift from Rochester Mom as well as tickets to enter amazing giveaways.
  4. Shop locally and purchase items at ABC & Toy Zone and leave at their special in-store collection area.  The ABC & Toy Zone staff will collect the items and safely deliver them to Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House Holiday Wish List

Holiday Wish List 2020 – Ronald McDonald House – download and print here (for the safety of the families and children staying in the home, please purchase online and have delivered to Ronald McDonald House OR purchase locally at ABC & Toy Zone)

Ronald McDonald House Needs List

Needs List 2020 – Ronald McDonald House – download and print here (for the safety of the families and children staying in the home, please purchase online and have delivered to Ronald McDonald House)


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