Recently I was given the opportunity to meet Shelley, the marketing & communications manager at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida to learn more about their non-profit organization. Volunteering has always been really important to me and I love that as a small business owner I have something tangible I can give back to the community in the form of photography. I’m always seeking out meaningful opportunities to donate my time to organizations that are doing something I can get behind and it was wonderful to get to know more about what this charity is doing.
I knew the Ronald McDonald House helped sick children, but I didn’t realize their mission also involves helping the families of these kids who are being treated at the nearby children’s hospital. I also had no idea just how nice it was in the house! You’d think it would be kind of sterile like a hospital, but actually it’s more like a hotel where families can stay right next door to their little ones so they don’t have to commute constantly back and forth. It also gives them a chance to normalize their lives just a little while dealing with something that, in many cases, can be life altering.
They offer comfortable rooms, free laundry services, complimentary meals and just an overall great environment to be in during an otherwise challenging time. I was very impressed by the facility and very excited to sign on as a volunteer photographer for them! My first shoot was with the Crawley family from Cocoa beach who used their services when their baby boy Jax needed heart surgery. They were all able to stay together there along with his older brother Colt and their grandmothers who were very involved in his recovery. It was a real treat to photograph this sweet family and to see how great Jax is now doing! If you’d like to make a donation to this awesome cause you can find out more on their website.