Dwight, in his own words:
The mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities has been foremost in my mind for years. Having spent almost 40 years in the McDonald’s restaurant business I saw firsthand what this charity has done for thousands of families. Because of this I am taking on a new initiative in my retirement; It is 1,000 Miles for RMHC New England #jointhejourneyhomeRMHCNE.
In August 2020 I am taking on the ambitious goal of walking 1,000 miles to raise awareness and much needed critical funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New England. I plan to walk 20-25 miles a day starting at the Ronald McDonald House in Boston and making my way across New England visiting the Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland, Bangor, Burlington, Springfield, New Haven and Providence. In training for this walk, I think about the struggles these amazing kids and their families go through. I can’t wait to get started!
Now more than ever, RMHC New England needs our support. COVID-19 has presented us all with challenges we could have never imagined. The implications COVID-19 has on RMHC New England is far reaching. The organization is now faced with significant revenue loss as a result of cancelled or postponed fundraising events due to the pandemic. The children and families of RMHC New England need our community of supporters especially now and I am personally grateful for everyone who has contributed. Even though the world seemed to have stopped, unfortunately childhood illness did not. The need for the compassionate support that RMHC New England provides is greater now more than ever.
For just a minute, imagine yourself in the shoes of a typical family living a normal life. Your biggest concern is how the kids will get to practice and what you’ll be having for dinner tonight. One day, out of nowhere, your child gets sick. Weeks or months of doctor visits and tests confirm the worst: Your child has been diagnosed with what could be a life threatening illness. Your once routine days are shattered and replaced with endless research, doctor visits and the urgency to see your child healthy once again. Seeking the best possible healthcare is now your biggest concern.
For this family and countless others, Boston is at the top of the list of healthcare destinations. It’s one of the most well known and respected places in the country for medical care. These families will face many logistical complications such as where to stay during treatments and how to keep their family together during this difficult time. The Ronald McDonald House has successfully answered those critical questions by providing a home away from home and an atmosphere of care and compassion for families at the most crucial of times.
Having spent time on the Board of RMHC, I have clearly seen the need for additional patient housing in Boston. For the last 3 years the number of requests to stay at The Ronald McDonald House at Boston Harbor has doubled. This has resulted in an ever growing wait list for families seeking housing. We must find a way of avoiding saying “no” to families in need.
This is where you come in! RMHC New England plans to expand services in the Greater Boston Area to fulfill the great need for pediatric housing. Originally this journey of 1000 Miles #JointhejourneyhomeRMHCNE , planned for the late summer of 2020, was to raise awareness and funding to expand RMHCNE services in the Greater Boston Area. Since COVID-19, my fundraising focus shifted to raise much needed funds to support current operations. It will also provide an opportunity to thank the thousands of people throughout New England who support the RMHC Mission and to recognize the sponsors and donors that allow RMHC to make a difference every day. I hope you’ll join me as I make my way through New England during my journey. Please join me in doing whatever you can to support this worthwhile organization.
Dwight Barnes, Deerfield, NH