We’re taking a quick break from all our cooking talks and giving you a Spring Time Bucket List (thank us later).
Are there a few things you’ve been dying to do, but can’t seem to find the time for it? We think Spring is the perfect time to finally start crossing things off your list. Our PR Volunteer from Fresno State, Bianca put together a few great ideas for your Spring Bucket List!
Here’s what she came up with:
#1. Visit Yosemite Take a trip to Yosemite, finally! Tourists visit from all around the world to this park and it is right in our backyard! Grab the family, pack up some snacks, and head over to Yosemite and get ready for Mother Nature.
#2. Purchase a deal on Groupon Have you been eyeing some great deals on Groupon, but haven’t quite made a purchase? Spring is a great time to land a deal for you, your family, or others. Treat yourself to a day at the spa or plan a family adventure day, whatever the reason Groupon will surely have some awesome deals!
#3 Plan a Family Picnic Spring is the perfect time for a meal at the park or even in your backyard! Take mealtime outdoors and enjoy the surroundings!
#4.Visit the Japanese Gardens at Woodward Park: Going for a walk is a great way to relax and take in everything around you! It is even better to walk through Japanese Gardens and view the Koi Pond and Tea Garden House.
5. Cook something “Green”: March is filled with some great holidays and what better way to celebrate spring than with food? Cook up some green eggs & ham in honor of Dr. Seuss or for St.Patrick’s Day. No matter the occasion some “green” recipes will be a great addition to mealtime.
Pistachio Pudding Parfaits Recipe photo by Taste of Home
#6.Visit a local farm market: Fruit and produce is abundant in the Central Valley. Take some time this spring to visit one of the local markets and check out the fresh and locally grown food. The Vineyard Farmer’s Market is a great place to start making those purchases and, learn about local family farms. Check out some of their upcoming event as well!
#7: Create a Vegetable Garden with the Kids: A garden is a great way to get the children involved with nature and teach them a thing or two about vegetables. The kids will have a blast planting the seeds and digging through the soil!
#8. Complete a DIY Project: Pinterest is a great source to find a kid-friendly craft or tackle a project in the house. There are thousands of projects to choose from and spark your creativity! Get ready to get crafty!
#9.Volunteer: Spring is a great time to serve a local organization with your time and skills. Many organizations have Spring Events and other activities where they may need some help. Visit handsoncentralcalifornia.org for upcoming opportunities! Why not get the whole family involved?
#10. Tackle Spring Cleaning: Use this time to finally clean that hall closet or organize the home office. Incorporate the kids and give them a task or two to complete in the house. This is a great way to keep them busy and your house clutter free!
There’s not much better than the comfort that comes with enjoying a home cooked meal. The Fresno State ROTC set out to prepare and serve a meal for our families. They toured the house, made a list of needed items, and started calling for donations.
We were completely blown away when after a few weeks the 15-20 cadets raised over $800 for our house. They used the funds to buy groceries for the dinner they planned for our families. Not only did our 18 families (just under 100 people) enjoy a yummy spaghetti dinner, we also recieved a donation of $600 of left over funds.
Cadet Megan Maloy said the reason they decided to support our house was, “It’s part of our pledge as leaders and future officers to help those in need and provide a selfless service to the community. By realizing the struggle of these families, it will better prepare us for the profession we are entering into.”
We couldn’t agree more! We were too busy eating our spaghetti to write down their snazzy recipe so instead, we found some of our favorites for you!
There it went.
2012 flashed right by us.
During the year our house was full of 18 families nearly every night. Each one dealing with the trauma of having a hospitalized child.
Each one dealing with their own personal stories, but doing it all together in our house.
When a year ends, and a new one begins, I can’t help but start to think about beginnings. Everything starts somewhere.
If you’ve never heard the story of how Ronald McDonald House’s around the world began, I’ve included it below. It’s the story of a little girl fighting for her life, a family that needed comfort to support her, a medical team that believed in the power of love, and a community that came together to make it all happen.
Thinking about beginnings forced me to think of my beginning here.
I came to the Ronald McDonald House as a volunteer when I was 19 years old. I’d just come back from a year at Cal Poly and I missed so much, the chance to help people. I started working on one of the annual fundraising events and coming into the house pretty regularly.
It was then that my life changed forever.
I met Sylvia. A 12 year old little girl with a smile that could light a room ablaze. Sylvia was undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments to battle her Sarcoma. When I would come in to volunteer, I’d hang out with Sylvia. She’d sit at my desk, try on all my costume jewelry (I was going through a phase) and make me google Ronaldo, the soccer star. She insisted that when she went to prom, he’d definitely come and take her, I told her she was probably right.
What I remember most about Sylvia, was her laugh. She had a laugh that bounced off the walls of the Ronald McDonald House and warmed you up.
I watched the Ronald McDonald House do the same thing for Sylvia’s Family. The house warmed them up. It kept them safe, fed them, gave them hope, but mostly gave them a place to be all together during Sylvia’s treatment. If it weren’t for the house, her family would have to leave her at the hospital and return home to Merced, daily. It was then, at 19, my world stopped and I knew I had to be a part of this place.
After six years, and thousands of families, this place has become a part of me.
So as I sit at the start of 2013 and think about beginnings, I’m grateful for another year of The Ronald McDonald House.
Well ladies and gentlemen we did it again! This year we had almost 200 walkers and runners participate in our Fun Run at Mooney Grove Park. Visalia was the place to be on July 14th! Rather then spend hours talking about what a great morning it was we thought we’d show you some of our favorite moments in snapshot form! We even included a video!
Enjoy! We hope to see you all next year!
VIDEO HERE: http://youtu.be/BwCwgFIG-dI
Meet Erica, Our Family Services Coordinator and such an example of the heart of what we do. She makes sure our families get everything they need while they’re with us.
You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
~George M. Cohan
In the United States we celebrate Flag Day on June 14th each year, but do we truly celebrate? Do we remember what it means? If you’re like us, you maybe forgot the true origin of the holiday. This year, we were reminded by Mary Ann, our incredible volunteer. Each holiday/season/birthday/time for celebration Mary Ann does an incredible job of transforming our house to match the theme.
Today, our staff walked into our main living room and found an abundance of red, white and blue decorations. When we looked closely, we realized there were books upon magazines, upon poems, and artwork all about Flag Day. Inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day (in case you are like us and forgot the specifics).
Today, as we’re reminded of the meaning behind our flag and the importance in celebrating it, we’re thankful for each person that contributed to today. Of course we loved her decorations so much, we snapped a few favorites for you.
Happy Flag Day!
Each month we’re introducing you to a new staff member. We feel so lucky to get to work with these people we want you to know them too!
Special events are especially fun! Our volunteers who come out to support them are even more fun. Celebration Church, Bank of the Sierra, Boy Scouts of America, Cadets from Yosemite High School, Fresno State Students, are some of the groups that volunteer regularly. We have a lot of individuals but these groups come out in large numbers to support us.
For our Family Reunion in February, Celebration Church made the life size Angry Birds game famous. This was such a huge hit for the kids. The game wasn’t just a success because it was so cool, but because the volunteers running it were pumped to be here. They were giving out high fives, hugs, encouraging the kids and genuinely happy. They were here because they wanted to be here: that was the best part.
Bank of the Sierra was out the same day to hand out goodies and help. Their participation was a show of community solidarity. A lot of our family members are from out of town and Bank of the Sierra was here to remind them that they’re a part of our community no matter where they’re from.
The family reunion represents one event where volunteers make all the difference, but the stories continue throughout the year. The focus, though, is that they’re here to make this house a home and remind the families they’re not alone.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly what our House does. Most of you know, we’re a Home. Some of you guess we’re like a hotel. Many of you think we’re completely funded by a very well known brand. Unless, you need and use us or know someone that has, you’ll probably never fully realize what exacly we do. Rather than us make a list of the amazing things we get to share with our families, we thought we’d let one of them share with you.