Christina Arnold, Former Director of Family and Volunteer Services, Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta
"Of all the supports we provide to the families at the House, it is my belief this is one of the most profound. It is not just the financial support you provide that is appreciated, although that is of great significance. It is the message you are giving these families that you think about them, care about how they are doing and know the magnitude of their pain. It is also the fact families are touched so deeply they feel compelled to ‘pass it on’. Please accept our heartfelt thanks Sarah’s Wish Foundation."
While one family was staying at the Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta when their child was undergoing cancer treatments, the mother and father applied for coverage for accommodation fees through an Alberta government program. But they found out they would not be given support retroactively. They were provided financial assistance through Sarah’s Wish Foundation for the eleven days they would not be covered for (a total of $132.00). When the father was told that Sarah’s Wish Foundation would pay his family’s accommodation fees at the House for the period of time that was not covered, he literally fell to his knees and wept. He could not believe that people he did not know would do this for him. Torn between his need to be with his family in Calgary and his sense of duty in providing for them financially which meant large chunks of time away from Calgary, he now knew there were people who understood.
Following the birth of their baby, a young family who had emigrated to Canada from Australia required a two month stay at the House. The parents of one of the family members flew to Canada to provide support and care and they resided in the House as well. All were incredibly grateful when told that Sarah’s Wish Foundation would provide funds to support, as the move and the illness had seriously impacted the young family’s financial well-being. The grandparents returned to Australia, vowing they would find the nearest Ronald McDonald House® and do everything they could to support it. A desire to give back after having been the recipients of your support has been a very common and touching response.
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Sarah’s Wish Foundation supports families of children with cancer. Through donations to the Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta, subsidized accommodations are provided to families in need. And through an emergency fund, direct assistance is provided to families who immediately need financial support to cover additional, unexpected expenses.