Happy Father’s Day!

“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers and lifelong friends.” 

Being a dad is never easy. And when your child is in the hospital, many parents start to feel powerless. Whether it’s the fear of not knowing if your child will get better, or the stress of dealing with hotel and transportation costs – parents carry a heavy burden when their child is hospitalized. 

While Father’s Day is a day to celebrate and honor all the father-figures in our lives, we’re also paying special attention to those dads with a sick or a critically ill child. 

Steven Watkins, father of 7, was able to stay close to his newborn son while he was in the hospital, thanks to the Ronald McDonald House.  From Chatham, Virginia, Steven, and his wife, stayed for 3 days until Dean was ready to head home to

 meet all his siblings. 

When asked for a quote about being a father, Steven stated, “Providing my children with a better path in life than what my father gave me and hoping they do the same for theirs one day! Always improving!” 

David Stanley turned the Ronald McDonald House not only into his home while his daughter Kaylee recovered from a car accident but also into an office so he could continue to work while being close to his daughter. 

“Our time at the Ronald McDonald House was so incredibly important to our family. It is far more than just a house. It is a community where people band together to help their neighbor. Even their neighbors that they have never met and possibly will never meet,” said David. “The human experience is wrapped around family and friends. And sometimes, those friends are people you have never met. People helping people, in their greatest moments of need. We can never thank the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Virginia enough.”  

As we continue to serve over 700 families each year, we aim to ease that burden of caregiving for parents by keeping them close to their loved ones. We believe that families are stronger when they are together, and this is never more important than when a child is sick or injured.