100 SMALL GESTURES; 100 GIGANTIC WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Sometimes it’s the small gestures that can make a family’s burden a little less heavy when they are caring for their sick child. Here are 100 ways our staff, volunteers and donors try to help lighten the load.
Help us offer even more small gestures to families who need them by making one of your own.
1. Free transportation to and from the hospital.
2. A hot cup of coffee to start off a difficult day.
3. A warm bath.
4. A place of peace for meditation and quiet moments.
5. A midday nap.
6. A private place to watch a movie on a TV donated by BrandSource.
7. Conversations with other families during daily meals.
8. A comfortable La-Z-Boy sofa.
9. Laughter in the common rooms, kitchens and during House activities.
10. A morning walk around the House before heading to the hospital all day.
11. Coca-Cola products available in vending machines.
12. Toys, books and games for my other children to show them they are loved too.
13. A meal in the refrigerator waiting for me, even when I didn’t realize I was hungry.
14. Fresh flowers at the entryway to welcome our family.
15. A warm shower after a long day at the hospital.
16. Hearing “dinner is served” and coming down to a dining room full of homemade goodness from local volunteers.
17. Access to a House library stocked with books, magazines, movies and friendly volunteers.
18. Handmade cards from a nearby kindergarten class.
19. A HUGE, clean kitchen to cook and eat meals.
20. A washer and dryer down the hall to do laundry.
21. A quiet room to write to my family or relax.
22. A smiling face from a volunteer to help strip some of my stress away.
23. Cereal – there is always enough cereal!
24. Spa treatments courtesy of the local beauty shop volunteers.
25. No long drive home at night.
26. Computers to update my loved ones at home or research my child’s illness.
27. A family whose child has the same rare disease as mine.
28. Feeling good that there are other people watching out for my family.
29. A warm cup of hot chocolate waiting in the kitchen.
30. Coming back to the House to find MY mom (aka grandma) waiting with a hug. (It’s not just parents who get to stay!)
31. An unexpected friend staying next door who is going through a similar experience.
32. A friendly volunteer to play with my other children so they don’t feel left out.
33. Visits from RMHC Celebrity Friends who work on arts and crafts with my kids.
34. An email box I can check that is full of words of comfort from loved ones.
35. A clean refrigerator.
36. A volunteer who took the time to know my name.
37. A friendly House manager who asks how my day was (even though she already knows).
38. A fresh loaf of bread.
39. Beautiful quilts made from loving hands.
40. A yoga class before the day gets going.
41. A beautiful lawn that I didn’t have to mow.
42. A swept floor.
43. Visits from a pet therapy dog to put a smile on our child’s face.
44. A load of dishes to do to take my mind off my child’s illness.
45. The realization that I’m not the only one going through this.
46. A diary to write down my feelings.
47. An empty garbage can I didn’t have to take out.
48. An encouraging word from a family or volunteer.
49. The welcome box I received at check-in full of snacks and House information.
50. An exercise room to help relieve stress.
51. A toothbrush and toiletries already stocked in my bathroom – something I never thought to bring when I rushed to the hospital.
52. Visits from Ronald McDonald to make my kids smile.
53. A relaxing massage when my shoulders are tired.
54. Holiday decorations to help pick up my spirits.
55. A birthday party for my child who is spending his second birthday getting treatment.
56. A staff member who counts down the days of radiation treatment with me.
57. If I’m in Japan, a bicycle to ride to the hospital.
58. A filled pantry that I didn’t have to stock.
59. Bath towels that are soft to the touch.
60. A quiet room with aromatherapy oil.
61. Private screenings of movies like Shrek.
62. A cupboard full of popcorn.
63. Seeing my child laugh as she plays board games to pass time.
64. A swing set for my kids.
65. An accredited school for my child to catch up on schoolwork.
66. Enjoying a hot cup of tea at tea time.
67. A car wash from local volunteers.
68. Privacy to talk with my spouse about our child’s treatment away from our child’s ears.
69. A volunteer’s handy maintenance skills.
70. A well tended garden to walk through and collect my thoughts.
71. Easy listening music to fall asleep to.
72. Knowing the doctor is only steps away from the House.
73. The light left on when I get home late.
74. Saturday morning breakfast – just like home.
75. Easing our family’s financial burden.
76. A shoulder to cry on to help ease the burden.
77. Never having to be alone, but having the freedom to be alone if needed.
78. A warm cookie and a glass of milk before I go to bed.
79. Fruit to grab and take with me to the hospital.
80. Leftovers from the night before.
81. Other kids at the House to play with my children.
82. A statue of Ronald McDonald to welcome my child.
83. Surprise guests – sports players, movie stars and famous singers.
84. A friendly farewell from the staff as we return home.
85. A greeting in my native tongue when my homeland seems so far away.
86. Tempur-Pedic beds to give me and my family a good night’s sleep.
87. Air-conditioned rooms when the summer heat would be too much.
88. A quick dessert after dinner.
89. Hearing stories of good outcomes from other families to give me hope.
90. Someone to rush back to and tell my good news.
91. A big glass of water when I come downstairs.
92. Heated rooms when the winter chill can get to you.
93. Leaving the hospital at night knowing if my child needs me, I am nearby.
94. Video games for my kids to play.
95. McDonald’s gift cards so I can grab a quick bite to eat.
96. Knowing there is another Ronald McDonald House near the specialist we need to see.
97. Good water pressure for a long, hot shower.
98. Time – to rest, spend with my child, and heal.
99. Fresh, healthy vegetables from the House garden.
100. A place where everyone speaks the same language – LOVE!