TAMPA, Fla. - The Ronald McDonald House Charities Tampa Bay brings hope and security to families during some of the most difficult times, but now they hope the public can help by sending Valentine's Day cards to kids and families living at the house while they receive treatment.
"Our Valentine’s Day program is a phenomenal way for the community to get involved in a very simple way. It takes like 30 seconds. All you have to do is go online to our website, and you’ll be able to sign up for our Valentine’s card," Joe Citro of Ronald McDonald House Charities Tampa Bay said.
The RMHC provides accommodations, meals, emotional and physical support to ease the burden on families while with their sick child.
The Fernandez family came to the United States from Panama to seek treatment for 13-year-old Isabel who started to experience chronic pain that confined her to a wheelchair.
"I started having pains. It started in the right hand, and then it passed on to the left hand, and then I had problems with my legs," she said.
They came to Tampa Bay to learn the cause of that pain living at one of the Ronald McDonald Houses during treatment. It’s something that’s made a big difference in their journey.
"It has been a great support, and it has done a lot of difference in terms of not feeling isolated and not feeling lonely," Ofelia Fernandez said.
They’re thankful for the community programs offered that help them cope during a tough time like the Valentine's Day cards that are shared throughout the house.
"It really just brightens up their day. It’s something that while they’re going through some of the toughest days they’ll ever face, the fact is they realize there’s a whole community of people behind them," Citro said.
To send a card to a RMHC family, visit https://rmhctampabay.org/valentines-day-card/.