As you read our Annual Newsletter Year in Review, 36 children and their families are staying with us here at the Ronald McDonald House Baltimore. They have cancer. They were born too early. They have sickle cell disease. They have had strokes. They have illnesses so rare that only a handful of children in the world have the same diagnosis. They need longer legs and stronger hearts. They need to learn how to swallow, to eat, to talk, and to walk again. They have been in car accidents, ski accidents, and freak accidents. They are babies, toddlers, teenagers, and young adults. They come to us at their first diagnosis and they come to us as their last resort. They are the children of the Ronald McDonald House and we love each and every one of them and their remarkable families.
Every week, we receive referrals that far exceed our current capacity. The painful question we have to consider every day is “Who do you choose?” Every afternoon, our team has to make phone calls to the families we can’t help, to exhausted and terrified parents who are already in crisis. We are adding one more layer of worry and stress, instead of lifting their burden and offering respite. To those of us who work and volunteer here, this is an unacceptable reality.
The bigger question is not “Who do you choose?” It is why: “Why do we have to choose?” To change the answer to that question, we are making history at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore by building a brand new house, to meet the incredible growing need for our services.
As we grow, our need grows. We ask for a lot from our community because we need a lot. We are going to need you even more in the years ahead as we work toward breaking ground on this big dream of never having to say no to a family in crisis.
In our community, our collective capacity to serve and to love is limitless. Our only limits right now are physical ones – the bricks and mortar limits.
The Ronald McDonald House is known as The House that Love Built. For the next few years, that phrase has another layer of meaning because we will need lots of love and support to build this new house. Together, we can all leave the planet knowing we have done something that matters—built the vessel that will house love, compassion, respite, kindness, comfort, and
care for thousands of families for generations to come.
In the year ahead, as we begin to bring our big dream of a new house to reality, we continue to celebrate the brave children, the selfless volunteers, the generous donors, and the loving community that is created every day on Lexington Street. Thank you for all you do for us.
President & CEO