Throughout the NHL season, the wives and girlfriends of San Jose Sharks athletes, dubbed the “Lady Sharks,” partner with the Sharks Foundation to locate and support causes close to their hearts. This April, the ladies teamed up to assist the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford.
Opened in 1979, the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) offers families home-away-from-home amenities as their children receive treatment for life-threatening illnesses. Due to extensive demand for accommodations, the House will be breaking ground this summer to increase capacity for families who currently find themselves in the hospital for days at a time while their loved ones are treated.
The “Happy Wheels” Cart program was developed to serve these families and bring the RMH’s comforting environment into the hospital. Four times a week, the cart is filled with donated goodies and rolled through the hospital, bringing entertainment and good cheer to patients, their siblings and parents. Unsurprisingly, the cart is quickly bombarded by eager individuals of all ages upon each visit. As the RMH’s Volunteer Coordinator Monica Makela noted, “The goodie bags bring a little bit of cheer in an otherwise gloomy and stressful time.”
After learning that items for teens and young girls were in high demand, the Lady Sharks jumped into action. Stocking up on everything from arts and crafts kits to costume jewelry, the ladies constructed 54 filled-to-the-brim goodie bags.
This week, the Sharks Foundation and Lady Sharks had the opportunity to deliver the bags to the House and take a tour of its family-friendly facilities. Following the tour, Sarah Pavelski, who spearheaded the project, commented, “I enjoyed putting together bags for the ‘Happy Wheels’ cart. When a child is sick, it can be just as hard on their families as it is on them; it means lots time away from the comforts of home and long hours in a hospital every day. These goodie bags help brighten the days of entire families. I was happy to help do a small thing that means so much to those who need something to look forward to.”
For more information about how you can assist families at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, please visit http://www.ronaldhouse.net/home.php.