Today is a special 7 year old's birthday! My dear friend Leah, who I went to college with, lives in Princeton with her husband Jeremy and 3 kiddos: Jordy (the birthday boy), Brady and "baby Sydney" which is what Violet calls her!
At the end of May, Jordy got unexpectedly sick very quickly and had to be transported by ambulance to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. Leah (9 months pregnant at the time) and Jeremy, having had zero sleep and dropping their jobs and Brady with Grandparents, obviously needed a place to crash while Jordy stayed in the hospital for a week. Ronald McDonald House was that place. It provided a "home away from home" for two worried and tired parents.
During that week, I was trying to think of anything I could to help Leah. If I had been in that situation I would have wanted support from friends too (and Leah provided that for me when my Dad was in the hospital). I picked up some things she needed at Target, put a bag of books together to entertain Jordy and loaded Violet up to go visit them at RMH. The lower level was a big playroom with the coolest, most creative and imaginative toys ever. Miss V did not want to leave. So, so cool. I wish that could have been my classroom! Then I went upstairs and saw this gleaming kitchen that looked like it could be in Good House Keeping Magazine. Seriously sparkling counters and gorgeous appliances. Jeremy found the leftover lasagna from the family dinner program and snagged two pieces for them. To be able to come back from the hospital after a long, hard day with a sick kiddo and have a home-cooked meal is the best feeling ever. Just like the Thanksgiving dinner way back in 2010 for my family. I knew then I wanted to provide that same feeling for other families. I picked up volunteer and Family Dinner Program info that day (in early June). Fast forward to September and The Right Relief Inc was officially a Nonprofit Organization! I hate that it took a sick Jordy to give me a spark but without this experience I wouldn't have seen how awesome RMH is for caregivers.
Jordy is doing better thankfully and we think of the Jackowski's often. Here's to a healthy year 7, Jordy!