Give Joy 2021 with Ronald McDonald House

Give Joy - Ronald McDonald House | Rochester Mom

Our 7th 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 7th 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.

Just like last year, Covid-19 is giving us some extenuating circumstances this year…and we have to get a bit creative.  Most of the families staying at Ronald McDonald House were already at 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 allow 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 2021.

♡ Hailey's Heart ♡

“Hailey is our tough, little bug,” said Tracie, Hailey’s mom. “Nothing is going to stop her – she is going to keep fighting.”

Tracie was thrilled when she became pregnant with Hailey. Her anticipation grew with every appointment; she was excited to meet her daughter. There were no complications or indications that anything was out of the ordinary or wrong.

That changed quickly.

Hailey was born with a heart condition – coarctation of the aorta. It is a narrowing of the large blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood to the body. It forces the heart to work much harder. And it is both rare and life-threatening.

But coarctation of the aorta wasn’t the only challenge Hailey faced. She struggled with pneumonia, ventricular septal defect, tracheostomy, feeding tube, and more. Her lungs are not fully developed and she deals with scoliosis. She also suffers from Noonan syndrome, which impacts her growth and hormones.

After traveling to South Dakota and Michigan for medical care…Hailey ended up at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

“Mayo Clinic is a wonderful place,” Tracie said. “They care for their patients so well and provide a very personal experience.”

“It’s where we needed to be.

Mayo is our saving grace,” said Tracie.

Hailey has visited Rochester and Mayo Clinic more than 20 times for appointments, treatments, and surgeries. For 16 of those visits and a total of 171 nights…Tracie has stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. She knew a little bit about Ronald McDonald Houses, but she learned a lot more on her first visit.

“The House is such a blessing,” said Tracie. “It provides comfort and security. Because Hailey is often inpatient…I am staying at the House alone. But I don’t feel alone.”

“When I leave the hospital…it feels like I am going home.”

The times Hailey has stayed at the House, she has found so much joy and happiness. She formed a very special bond with the Family Activity Coordinator and is always excited for mailbox “treasures,” which are donated by friends of the House.

“Activities and mailbox items are things for her to look forward to on our trips,” Tracie said. “And she rarely keeps anything; she gives it to her brother and sister or her friends.”

“She has such a big heart.”

While Hailey is doing very well, her future is still uncertain. As Tracie described: heart conditions are tricky. But the family takes it one day at a time, enjoys every moment together, and hopes for a full and complete life.

“It’s a different world when you have a sick child,” Tracie said. “But Hailey is incredible strong and brave.”

Photo credit: Malorie Girres Photography

How to Participate in Give Joy

There are 3 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, November 30th – 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. 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 2021 – 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 2021 – 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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Rochester Mom is written by and for moms who live in the Rochester MN area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses and seeking to connect moms both on and offline.