Hearts & Hands Celebration Raises Over $570,000

Ronald McDonald House Charities© of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHCCNAZ) has much to celebrate. Over the weekend, the Phoenix-based organization hosted its inaugural “Hearts & Hands Celebration” in a new, virtual fashion – one that proved to be a smashing success.

“This year brought a lot of challenges,” stated Kerry Schulman, Chief Executive Officer. “But the challenges faced by the families we serve are much greater. The Hearts & Hands Celebration brought an opportunity to come together and support these families while also celebrating those who got us through these difficult months – our dedicated community champions.”

Co-hosted by Susan Casper of ABC15 Arizona, the thirty-minute affair held on November 7th cast incredible tributes to the organization’s founders, medical community, and local McDonald’s owner/operators. Viewers who opted in for additional flare at home also received a signature dish and cocktail prepared by Café ZuZu of the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

Most captivating, however, were the stories told by families themselves including those of baby Bo who was born 100 days early, weighing just 1lb 10oz. “It makes the rollercoaster of the NICU just a little bit easier by having some place you can go where you can feel safe,” said the Sunflower, Arizona family when reflecting on their time at “the House that Love Built. “We couldn’t thank you guys enough.”

Providing a “home-away-from-home” for families like the Bo’s is what Ronald McDonald House© does – even amidst a global pandemic. While no expense to families, it costs RMHCCNAZ $107/night to house one family. Consequently, making the announcement of raising $573,820 to provide more than 5,000 nights of comfort and rest for families with this campaign even sweeter.

“There are no words,” exclaims Schulman. “The generosity and kindness displayed by our community will make a difference for so many families battling the unimaginable; it means we will always be here when they need us.”

RMHCCNAZ provides temporary housing at three Valley locations, including in central Phoenix near St. Joseph’s Hospital and Banner University Medical Center, on the campus of Phoenix Children’s Hospital and on the campus of Banner Children’s at Desert in Mesa. In total, there are 78 rooms available to serve families on any given night. Last year, over 1,454 families utilized the House, totaling 22,379 nights of rest.

A replay of the program can be viewed at rmhccnaz.org/celebration.