Melinda Doolittle

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House

Thanks to the wonderful people at Coca Cola, I got a chance to be a part of the Hearts and Hands Gala in Atlanta benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. For those of you who don’t know what the Ronald McDonald House is all about, you’re gonna love it! The RMH is all about family. They help families address their problems regarding health care. Whether those problems involve how to stay near and support a hospitalized child, how to afford staying together in another city while a child is undergoing treatment, or even getting basic medical and dental care in an under-served community. To find out more about what they do and how you can help, visit

Saturday started with the most amazing visit to the brand new RMH in Atlanta. This is my 3rd visit to one of the houses in different cities and this one was spectacular! They really work so hard to keep the “home” atmosphere and still meet the needs of the children and their families. Now, I do have to admit, I was excited about going to the house for two reasons. First, I LOVE getting to hang with the families. They are such strong and amazing people. Secondly, Ryan Seacrest. Ryan was hosting the Gala that evening, so we were both going to visit the house that morning. He’s seriously one of my favorite people! That being said, the families totally outdid Ryan that day. I had so much fun meeting all of them. The children were so precious...and just as excited about Ryan as I was. :-) I met the most loving boy named Christopher, who had already experienced 24 brain surgeries. Then, I met my little friend David, who just had a liver transplant and had the cutest cheeks ever!

The underlying theme with all of the children and their families was their strength. They loved being with other families experiencing the same thing. It was awesome to see the strength they provided for each other. I can’t finish telling you about this visit without telling you about my new friend Forrest, though. I fell in love with this little boy the moment I saw him. I asked to hold him and I was hooked! He is 7 months, but the size of a 2 month old because he was born so prematurely. He is so loving and precious and I pretty much didn’t let him go for the whole visit. His mommy, Haven, was sweet enough to let him be my therapy for the day. :-)

Before we left, we got a tour of the gorgeous home and got to see firsthand what is offered to each family. It was so amazing! I was so excited to be a part of something so wonderful. It really hit home with me. I hope you can find out more about the houses in your area and see what you can do to help. I must mention that I also had a new friend with me during the tour. Her name is Aubrey! It really made it special for me to see the house through a sweet child’s eyes. She was the icing on the cake for me.
At the end of the day, we ended up at a beautiful Gala outside of the World of Coca Cola. If you haven’t visited that place, you really should. It’s amazing! Of course, Ryan was the perfect host and I had a blast singing. The fact that I had my manager and my background singers with me made it even more special! Thank you Kelley, Janet and Jaimee for making this such a wonderful experience and for being a part of making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
***A special thank you to The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, Coca Cola and Ryan Seacrest...and Forrest!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog have really touching my heart. Nothing more to say. Thanks to share with us. Love the pictures also.

October 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

I smiled throughout this entire blog ... it was just so sweet and so touching. What a truly wonderful organization, and what truly inspiring people you met (and what a truly inspiring person THEY met, too!). I'm so glad you had such an amazing time. Thank you for sharing it with us!

October 30, 2009 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Darci said...

Oh my gosh that baby is sooooooo delish! They really ARE therapeutic, aren't they? :-)

October 30, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

Melinda, you are such a great writer. Thanks for bringing us a smile and for doing so much good. Serena

October 31, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Melinda, our family was so blessed to be a part of that special day. Meeting you was such a treat for us! You are such a sweet and thoughtful person, a true joy! The Hearts and Hands Gala was incredible and getting to hear you sing was amazing! The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House truly is our home away from home. Both of our children have received life-saving liver transplants and without the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, I don't know what we would have done. Thank you for supporting Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities!

With love and appreciation,
Jennifer and Eric, proud parents of Lily and Sawyer

November 2, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
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