Giving Families a Home Away from Home during the Holidays


Ray Parisi Jr.

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays.”  Many would agree with this holiday song lyric.  Unfortunately, some families can’t be home for the holidays because a loved one requires serious medical attention and hospital care.  That’s where the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware comes in, providing a “home away from home” for families in need so they can be near a seriously ill or injured child.

The Wilkinson family is one of many that have taken advantage of the House in Wilmington, DE.  Near the end of her pregnancy, Candice became seriously ill, and on February 20, her baby girl, MaKynlee Fay, was born 10 weeks early, weighing just 2 pounds, 6 ounces.  Candice and her husband, Jeremy, traveled from their home in Sussex County to visit their daughter at Christiana Hospital and found it stressful to be so far from their family support system. Candice learned about the Ronald McDonald House, and found comfort in the homey surroundings and support from the volunteers and other families while staying close to MaKynlee.  Happily, MaKynlee is now home with her parents.

Over the holidays, typically about 35 families are staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The House asks families like the Wilkinsons to contribute $15 a night, a fraction of the $72-per-day operating cost, and still many families cannot afford this nominal amount.

You can help by participating in the Share A Night campaign, enabling families to sleep easier and stay together.  A donation of $15 sponsors a family for one night, $45 for a weekend, $105 for a week or perhaps $450 for a month.

You can also participate in another holiday tradition – the Share A Night Lighting Ceremony, 6 – 7 p.m., Thursday, December 12, at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware on Rockland Road.  Each year, thousands of lights that adorn the house and surrounding grounds are turned on for the season, accompanied by holiday music, refreshments and a visit by Ronald McDonald.

AstraZeneca supports the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, which served more than 2,300 families last year.  Its outstanding staff and hundreds of volunteers create a nurturing home away from home while helping to improve the health and well-being of children and bringing comfort to their families when they need it most.

To Share A Night with those families in need staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, you can donate online.  It’s a special way for you and your family to share your blessings during the holiday season.  Buy a Light – Share a Night!  And stop by December 12 to see hundreds of children’s faces light up, when the holiday lights go on at the House.