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Appreciation has poured in for what a team of 65 volunteers from Hope City Church put on for families staying at Ronald McDonald House in Herston during their annual Mothers Day extravaganza. However, as a volunteer during the event, it was sometimes hard to tell who was having a better time such was the camaraderie, love and joy experienced in serving.
The event held on Saturday 12 May 2012 gave families resident at Ronald McDonald House, and especially mums, a reason to smile, feel pampered and know the community cared for them. For many it was a chance to break through the bubble that forms around people’s lives when they have a sick child in hospital over an extended period and are far from home.
Mums were pampered with massages, manicures and pedicures while the band entertained families in the background. Children had fun selecting from a gorgeous array of gifts and decorating cards for mum, as well as having their faces painted. There was even a team of meticulous car cleaners who ensured the family car was like brand new inside and out. The grand finale was the afternoon High Tea – an absolutely scrumptious feast whipped up lovingly by the catering team – giving everyone a chance to mingle and connect with each other.
“Having such a special afternoon together was a real morale booster and has given us all something to smile about,” remarked the resident mum of a baby born prematurely at 27 weeks. “It was clear from the moment I saw the room that the afternoon was made with love. The tables were beautifully decorated, the balloons neatly tied, the gifts carefully wrapped and the food prepared with precision. It was all spectacular. The best part though, was to see and hear so many men and women supporting the mums, dads and children of the house. It was lovely to have someone to talk to about my experience and my situation that bring me and my family to be here. It was even better talking to someone who had a genuine interest in listening to me and supporting me.”
Heartfelt speeches were made by Ronald McDonald House CEO Christopher Macaulay, Hope City Church Senior Pastor Alex Attard as well as LNP Member for Brisbane Robert Cavallucci who attended the event along with Ronald McDonald House Ambassador Natalie Medhurst.
Ronald McDonald House in Herston houses families who live more than 50 kms away from where their child is being treated at the Children’s Hospital in Brisbane or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital. The residents are families with a child undergoing treatment for a serious illness or disability and expectant mums of premature or seriously ill babies. See www.rmhc.org.au.
It’s the sixth year that Hope City Church has held the Mothers Day event at Ronald McDonald House. Among the many letters of thanks received from families after Saturday’s event, the following sentiments were expressed:
“We are so deeply touched by your generous unconditional love shown to us on Saturday.”
“The effort and love that was made for us was just so beautiful and not something I will ever forget.”
“Just what we needed to lift our spirits.”
“It is amazing that people like you care and give yourselves.”
“This truly kind act of goodness would have never have happened without the help of the beautiful people we have in our community.”
“Words cannot express enough thankyous for making my wife and daughter feel special on this day.”
“The Mums were still smiling long after you all had left.”