On Nov. 7, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona hosted its inaugural Hearts & Hands Celebration in a virtual fashion. The format proved to be a big success for the organization.
“This year brought a lot of challenges,” says Kerry Schulman, CEO. “But the challenges faced by the families we serve are much greater. The Hearts & Hands Celebration brought an opportunity to come together and support these families while also celebrating those who got us through these difficult months—our dedicated community champions.”
Co-hosted by Susan Casper of ABC15 Arizona, the 30-minute affair included tributes to the organization’s founders, medical community and local McDonald’s owner/operators. Viewers who opted in for additional flare at home also received a signature dish and cocktail prepared by Café ZuZu of the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.
Families shared their stories, including that of baby Bo, who was born 100 days early, weighing just 1 pound, 10 ounces. “It makes the rollercoaster of the NICU just a little bit easier by having some place you can go where you can feel safe,” said the Sunflower, Ariz., family when reflecting on their time at “The House that Love Built.”
Providing a “home-away-from-home” for families like the Bo’s is what Ronald McDonald House does, even in the middle of a pandemic. While no expense to families, it costs the organization $107 per night to house one family. The campaign raised $573,820 to provide more than 5,000 nights of comfort and rest for families. Last year, 1,454 families utilized the House, totaling 22,379 nights of rest.
View the celebration HERE.
PHOTOS COURTESY RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ARIZONA