Volunteers needed to organise #Walk4Families events in every county in 2017

GALLERY: Ronald McDonald House Charity #Walk4Families event hugely successful

By Offaly Express Reporter

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By Offaly Express Reporter

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Ronald McDonald House Charity in Ireland has thanked people for supporting #Walk4Families events, which took place on all over the country on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September.

The fundraising initiative raised vital funds for the new Ronald McDonald House that will accommodate 53 families alongside the new Children's Hospital when it opens on the grounds of St James's Hospital in 2020. The cost to build and fit out the new Ronald McDonald House at the new Children’s Hospital will be in excess of €16 million.

From 2004 to the end of 2015, the Ronald McDonald House Charity helped over 3000 families from all over Ireland by providing them with family accommodation while their child was seriously ill in Crumlin Hospital. To date, the #Walk4Families events have raised over €20,000 nationally – but the charity needs further donations to hit its target of €30,000 for this event.

Connacht Guinness Pro-12 Rugby player and Ronald McDonald House Ambassador, Jake Heenan officially started the Galway #Walk4Families event. Commenting on the importance of supporting families who have a sick child in hospital, Jake Heenan said: "The main reason I got involved in #Walk4Families was because my younger brother suffered health complications when he was born very premature. This was naturally a very difficult time for me and my family, and I am very supportive of the work the Ronald McDonald House Charity does to lighten that burden for families."

Susan Daly from Cork talked about her experience of the Ronald McDonald House: “The fabulous house at Crumlin Hospital is a life line for my family. It's a rare opportunity for all of us to be together again. Those weekend visits by my husband, Colin, and my son, Christian, are what helps get us through the really hard times.

The difference it makes to my daughter, Olivia, is difficult to put into words. She gets to actually see her big brother and her dad and to spend time with them, no amount of phone calls or Facetime calls can ever measure up to this. I can't thank the Ronald McDonald House enough for allowing us the precious time together, all four of us in the same location. It's what keeps us going and helps keep us fighting. To be honest, I know that during the lengthy hospital stays, it's the only thing we have to look forward to. We thank Ronald McDonald House Charity for giving us the gift of togetherness.”

Thanking all those who participated for their support, CEO (Volunteer) of Ronald McDonald House Charity in Ireland, Marian Carroll, said:“We are so grateful to people for their support of our #Walk4Families event which took place all over Ireland on 10th and 11th September. These events were a great success – a really fun outing for all who attended, as well as raising much-needed funds for the Ronald McDonald House that we will be building alongside the new Children’s Hospital. Next year we will need additional volunteers to organise #Walk4Families events in every county in Ireland, so we will need extra people to help keep families close.”

Rosie Conneely organised event this year and she said: “Having a sick child far from home, families and friends is difficult, expensive and emotionally challenging. It is a reminder to all of us how the Ronald McDonald House is a vital part of a family’s stay while in hospital."

“If anyone was not able to take part in the walk, they can still contribute using our text donation service by texting HOUSE to 50300 to donate €4. Since 2004, we have helped 3000 families across Ireland - let’s all help families and children who will be staying at the new National Children’s Hospital,” she continued.

If you were not able to attend a #Walk4Families event, please Text HOUSE to 50300 to donate €4. Texts cost €4 with a Minimum €3.26 going to charity (service provider is Like Charity | 076 6805278). All funds raised from #Walk4Families and Texts goes directly to The Ronald McDonald House Charity, an independent charity run by a Board of Trustees appointed by the charity.