Halifax's Ronald McDonald House PJ Walk: Volunteering as a Family

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One of the questions I am asked a lot is how local families with young children can volunteer together. Many opportunities are restricted to older kids due to legal or safety reasons but I know lots of families want to teach their children from early on how to give back to their communities.

While I was searching for opportunities to share with you I connected with the team at the Ronald McDonald House in Halifax. This incredible organization is dedicated to helping local families in times of crisis. When your child is sick and needs to be cared for far away from home, the last thing you want to do is worry about the time and costs involved in travelling back and forth from your home. This is where the Ronald McDonald House steps in.

Last year the Halifax Ronald McDonald House provided 4,887 nights of comfort to 553 families travelling here for medical treatment; and, between the RMH House in Halifax and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in Halifax and Moncton, they served 2,283 Maritime families. 

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Our House is more than just a place to stay; it’s a place of comfort and support, a home away from home. It is for entire families to use, allowing them to keep their lives moving forward as normally as possible – despite the challenges they face. We strive to keep families together in a compassionate and comfortable environment so they can focus on the most important thing, their sick child. We are proud to help families when they need it most.
— Ronald McDonald House Atlantic Website

Halifax (along with three other Maritime communities, Moncton, Charlottetown, and Saint John) is hosting their second annual fundraiser called the Rise and Shin: PJ Walk for Kids on June 10 of this year. This fun, pledge-driven event where, yes, you get to do a walk in your PJs, is something the whole family can participate in with activities for both kids and adults, and the funds raised by your family will help other local kids and families.

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The morning event includes a pancake breakfast hosted by the HRM Lions Club, a bouncy castle, face painting and hair braiding by Chatters Salon, games and crafts, a lemonade stand, Atlantic Cirque performers, and a teddy bear clinic to have your children's cuddly friends attended to.

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PLUS, of course you get to do it all in your PJs! What kid wouldn't get a kick out of strolling around the city in their PJs?! Oh, and parents will have access to a McCafe on site AND 15-minute massages hosted by Massage Addicts!

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Ronald McDonald House was our home for 92 nights when our baby Lorcan was born prematurely. As soon as we walked in the front doors of the House and had the tour, we felt welcome. Having an affordable place to stay so close to the hospital allowed us to be there for our son.
— Sean Murphy, Coldbrook, NS
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This is the perfect event for Halifax families to have fun volunteering together to help out other local families. Set a goal, collect funds together, and show up to support an amazing local community resource that helps families in their biggest time of need.

The event kicks off on June 10 at 9:30 at the Halifax Commons with registration, fun family activities, and the pancake breakfast; at 10:30 the walk officially opens with loads of en route entertainment. At the end of the walk, from 11-11:30 the teddy bear clinic is open for business.

To register your family for the Rise and Shine: PJ Walk for Kids, simply click here and fill out the form for the Halifax location. Families are encouraged to set a goal of $140 which will provide one night of comfort for a family staying at Ronald McDonald House.