Haier Pulse players will be lending a hand on Friday morning, raising money for their chosen charity – Ronald McDonald House Wellington. Katrina Grant, Caitlin Thwaites and Amber Bellringer will be shaking the collection buckets between 8am and 9am at Wellington Railway Station assisting with the Ronald McDonald House Street Appeal.
The current Ronald McDonald House accommodates 12 families of children receiving treatment at Wellington Hospital, but the new, bigger house will mean that the charity will be able to extend this hospitality to 34 families at any one time. In building the new house, the aim is to create a home-like environment. The interior will be bright, light and homely, and it will cater for different families' needs and wants as much as possible. The entire project has cost over $15 million and at this stage there is still a shortfall of $1 million. Fundraising is essential and every dollar will count towards this goal.
The three players will also visit the new house, which is currently under construction, and meet with representatives from Ronald McDonald Wellington, which is the official charity of the Haier Pulse for 2012.
Star shooter Caitlin Thwaites is looking forward to the opportunity to help raise funds and the profile of the charity which provides a ‘home-away-from-home’ for the families of children receiving specialist medical treatment at Wellington Hospital.
“Ronald McDonald House is such a great cause to get in behind as it helps out families when they most need support,” she explained. “Many of the people involved are volunteers and they give a huge amount of time and love to make things go as smoothly as possible during times of real stress for parents and siblings. I would urge everyone to dig deep and make a donation to help keep this amazing work going for another year.”
Lesley Slieker, Chief Executive of Ronald McDonald House Wellington, is delighted to have the backing of the Haier Pulse at a time when fundraising is even more crucial than ever. “We are very excited to have the Haier Pulse on board and we are really hoping that some of their success will rub off on to our street appeal. To have the backing of such high profile sports people is a great boost for us and helps to show the general public that we are a cause that is well worth supporting.”
To make a donation to Ronald McDonald House, pop down to Wellington Railway Station on Friday morning, watch out for the street appeal collectors Street Appeal, text Ronald to 3890 to make a $3 donation or log on to http://www.givealotoflove.org.nz/donate-now.aspx
The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadelphia in the United States in 1974, largely through the efforts of Philadelphia Eagles footballer, Fred Hill when his daughter Kim was diagnosed with leukemia. Fred and his wife came face-to-face with the same difficulties faced by other parents with children in hospital – sleeping in chairs, eating food from vending machines, losing privacy and being separated from the rest of the family back home.
Fred rallied the support of his Philadelphia Eagles teammates and the local McDonald’s owner operators to raise funds to establish the first house to help other families experiencing the same emotional and financial traumas as their own.
In 1991 a group of very visionary people had the concept of a home for families with serious ill children in Wellington and so the idea of the Ronald McDonald House was born in New Zealand. Since then another two houses and two family rooms have been built to meet the ever-increasing need.
Today there are 314 Ronald McDonald Houses and 178 family rooms around the world.