GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Not everyone gets to spend the holidays in their own homes. Some spend it in the hospital because of lifesaving treatments.
That’s where the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern North Carolina come in. The organization continues to provide a home away from home for families with children receiving medical treatment in Greenville.
The generosity doesn’t stop during the holidays. The place currently is full with 20 families in house. That makes their work even more important during the holiday season.
“A big part of holidays is home, and for these children and these families, not all of them can be home for the holidays,” said Caleb Turik, Family Services coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville. “And so, we do everything we can to provide that home atmosphere for them when it matters most.”
Decorating the house, offering holiday activities like ornament and card making as well as helping parents get presents are just a few of the ways that those with the Ronald McDonald House Charities get folks into the spirit.
“We also have a Santa room where families can go shopping for gifts for their patients in there, so that alleviates the need for going Christmas or holiday shopping,” Turik said.
Volunteers with the charity said it’s important to help these families out wherever possible.
“You never really know what families are going through, what their life is back home, so it’s good to, you know, bring the spirit … the holiday spirit to them,” said volunteer Jonathan Baires.
This year’s celebration is bigger than last year as COVID-19 precautions were still in place to protect residents.
“Being able to have Santa come in was a big step this year. We’ve also increased the amount of programming that we have,” Turik said.
And those with the Ronald McDonald House say they are thankful for the community’s support and look forward to continuing to serve families.
“I feel like now more than ever families need support like the Ronald McDonald House, especially going through the difficult things that they go through and experiencing all of that during the holiday season,” Turik said.