Howard Hanna Insurance Services works with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Pittsburgh and Morgantown, Inc. to keep families together while children receive life-saving medical care. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000.
For families with a sick child, focusing on that child’s recovery is their number one priority. Expensive hotel stays, transportation logistics and planning daily meals can quickly become burdensome and stressful. That’s where the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Pittsburgh and Morgantown comes in – providing comfortable housing for families while their seriously ill or injured children receive medical treatment at local facilities. Many of these children do not have access to the care they need within their own communities, and so RMHC allows families to stay together while traveling for the care they need.
A collective passion
Inspired by their own passion for helping children in the community, the team at Howard Hanna Insurance Services got involved with RMHC in 2018. Their involvement began with meal preparation for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Pittsburgh, but their efforts soon became even more creative.
In 2019, Howard Hanna Insurance Services teamed up with The Body Bar to co-host a pamper party for the families, where children and parents could get complimentary chair and hand massages. Howard Hanna Insurance Services employees have continued donating toiletries, toys and monetary funds to the houses over the years.
“We love the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown because it provides hope, connection and friendship to families going through really hard times.”
– Danielle Shearer, vice president and general manager at Howard Hanna Insurance Services
Danielle Shearer, vice president and general manager at Howard Hanna Insurance Services, recounted a particularly special experience the team had with a family staying at the Pittsburgh house at the end of 2019. A young boy who’d been receiving care had picked out one of the toys donated by Howard Hanna Insurance Services – a little guitar.
“His mother showed us photos of him sleeping with his new guitar. He even played music for us as we ate with his family, and he made everyone smile even though we were there to do that for him,” said Shearer. “We love RMHC because it provides hope, connection and friendship to families going through really hard times.”
Providing comfort throughout the pandemic
While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Howard Hanna Insurance Services employees from enjoying in-person visits with the RMHC families, they made sure to stay involved in the ways they could. The team donated hundreds of dollars to sponsor hot meals for the families and continued donating essential supplies and toys, too.
The agency even sponsored a whole apartment within the Pittsburgh house for one year, covering lodging for various families who needed a place to stay. As Tara McHenry, development associate at RMHC, told the team in late 2020, “There is currently a family staying in the apartment with a child who’s receiving neonatal care. Your endless support has helped us provide families with a comforting place to stay, hot meals, toys and so much more.”
“The endless support from Howard Hanna Insurance Services has helped us provide families with a comforting place to stay, hot meals, toys and so much more.”
– Tara McHenry, development associate at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown
An impactful gift
Due to RMHC’s commitment to never turn a family away, the Jacob Johnson Family Lodging Fund is a vital part of the charity’s fundraising efforts. If awarded, a $10,000 donation from Safeco would sponsor around 500 nights of comfortable lodging for families in need. “Families with children who are hurting have enough to worry about,” said Shearer. “If we can help relieve them of the financial burden of an extended hotel stay and daily commute, that would mean so much to us.”