This is a guest post from Brandi Hale, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Ronald McDonald House, which was one of the eight recipients of the 2013 LUV Classic. Gracias from your friends at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Puerto Rico (Fundacion Infantil Ronald McDonald). When we received the news that we would be a recipient of the Southwest Airlines 2013 LUV Classic, we were thrilled (we were jumping up and down thrilled). Even though your beautiful planes had only been flying to our island for a short while, we already felt part of the Southwest Team.
Several times a year, we have Southwest Teams cooking at our Ronald McDonald House and volunteering at our events. We are very appreciative that these volunteers have been sharing our story with many of you. Last year, we were able to serve over 20,000 children and families through our local programs: our Ronald McDonald House in San Juan, Ronald McDonald Family Room in Aibonito, Ronald McDonald House in Ponce, Pediatric Vision and Hearing Clinics, and our Friendship Visits to pediatric hospitals.
With the opening of our third Ronald McDonald Family Room this year, your donation will help us achieve our dream of ensuring operations and family-focused services at our Casa Ronald McDonald continue to serve those who need us most. Because of your generous donation, we plan on updating lighting, making our house more energy-efficient, updating the bedrooms, replacing and updating kitchen items, ensuring the families have home-cooked meals (and meals to take with them to the hospital), and creating special family events to keep them together when they are so far from home.
Our programs exist because there is a need; we continue to serve others because of amazing fundraising events like the LUV Classic.
This is four year-old Sadora from Haiti. She is in Puerto Rico to have heart treatments, and is living at our Ronald McDonald House with her mother during this time. From her heart and from the bottom of my heart—thank you, Southwest Airlines. You make LUV possible for so many and make big dreams come true!