For the last 30 years, the Hospitality House in Charlotte has been providing the comforts of home to the families of seriously ill loved ones by offering affordable accommodations in close proximity to the major medical centers of the city. It hosts over 350 guests per month and maintains a 94% occupancy rate. The guests come from all 50 states and even travel from other countries. To keep it running, it required 4, 127 volunteer hours last year!
This year, for our Random Act of Kindness, my family is baking some goodies to drop off at the Hospitality House to bring a little cheer to some people most likely to need it. It is important to me to give to these types of establishments because I required the use of one, thankfully only for one extremely long afternoon.
Although both of my children were born premature, only my son required serious medical attention. At birth, his lungs were not fully developed and he was intubated and on a respirator for his first 24 hours of life. After that, he was able to breathe on his own with the aid of oxygen which he required for the next five days. The trauma of intubation left some scar tissue on his vocal chords, and he was unable to cry or make any noise. So, at the age of 14 days, he was taken by ambulance to a children's hospital about 30 minutes from his birth town for a laser surgery on his throat.
Watching my newborn baby being wheeled away into the OR was one of the more difficult moments of my life, and I was so very glad that I was able to wait for him in the hospitality room provided by the Ronald McDonald house. His older sister, who was only 6 at the time, was just as worried as I was, and I was very grateful to be able to distract her with cartoons and coloring books while we waited for the surgeon to do his job. The whole procedure probably lasted less than 3 hours, but I swear to you it took a whole year for them to bring him out of recovery.
I am very happy to say that both of my little premature babies are all grown up and doing quite well! However, I can clearly recall that feeling of desperation in my chest if I think back upon those early days, and I know how the small kindnesses of strangers can help ease some of the tension if only for a few seconds. That is why it is so important to me to deliver some kindness in the form of baked goods to Charlotte's Hospitality House, and even though it is hundreds of miles from that room where I waited for my baby, I am sure it is a place of refuge for a bunch of other mommas waiting for their babies.
This RAK is going to do double duty! We are going to be doing something special for strangers in need and spend quality family time together baking and preparing care packages! I consider that a win-win for sure. When you have a working teenager and a preteen it can be tough getting everyone in the same place at the same time, but everyone is gonna be present and helpful while we bake some amazing chocolate chip cookies and prepare some snack bundles. Yay for family time!
Don't live in Charlotte but want to help worried families waiting for their loved ones? You can find the nearest Ronald McDonald house, search for locally owned places like the Hospitality House, or even drop off snacks and drinks at your local intensive care waiting room! My grandmother's church drops off lunch bags to the families waiting in the intensive care unit once a month. A lot of times, people are afraid to leave the waiting room even just to go eat, but whatever place you decide on, I promise those families will greatly appreciate your random act of kindness.
More Random Acts of Kindness
This post is the last day of a 30-day Random Acts of Kindness series. Each day in November I'll be publishing a new post with the help of some amazing bloggers to inspire your random acts of kindness.
Free 10-Page Kindness Planner
In addition to new ideas, we'll also be giving away some great prizes to spread some kindness ourselves. Click the image below and bookmark the page so you can follow along all month.
Latest posts by Dara Brewton Schweitzer (see all)
- Random Acts of Kindness: Bringing Cheer to Those in Need! - November 30, 2017