Gateway Gazette

Santa Sacks Program Will Bring Holiday Magic to Alberta Families

Supporters deliver bags of gifts and toys to Ronald McDonald House in Calgary as part of the Santa Sacks program in 2016.

To understand the impact of Ronald McDonald House Charities Southern & Central Alberta (RMHCSCA), you simply need to hear about the families they serve – those who are away from home, and in need of a place to stay.

The Campbell family stayed at the Red Deer House in March 2015 when their little boy, Zayden, who was born with tongue-tie, was recovering from a correcting procedure in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Randi and Kyle Leeson occupied the Red Deer House twice – once in 2013 as their small newborn daughter, Claire, spent time in hospital while her lungs matured, and another time during Randi’s second pregnancy.

This year, the Kaid family spent time at the Calgary House while their two-year-old daughter, Leila, underwent treatment for Leukemia. Her father, Timo, said, “This place is kind of like a utopia. Lelia just loves the whole House.”

For these families, and for the 590 families served in 2015-2016, RMHCSCA provided a home away from home so sick children could receive medical care in hospital. Equipped with private family suites, recreational rooms, play areas, communal kitchens, and free laundry facilities, both Houses – located in Red Deer and Calgary – give families a comfortable place to eat homemade meals, share experiences, and get some much-needed rest while caring for a sick child. Families pay a nightly fee of just $12 during their stay.

As the holiday season draws near, many families staying in the Houses are preparing for a different kind of Christmas. At a time of year when family means the most, many of RMHCSCA’s clients will have to spend time away from family – and home – all while dealing with the illness of a child.

But with the help and generous contribution to the Santa Sacks Program, RMHCSCA families will feel the magic of the season and the generosity of Albertans.

The Santa Sacks will be delivered to the families on Christmas morning.

Source: Alberta’s Promise

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