Ronald McDonald House fundraiser is coming to the Imperial Valley
Volunteer Maria Diaz (left) signs up Norma Villicana at the Imperial Valley Mall on Saturday to volunteer for The Red Shoe Day coming in September. (DENNIS JACOBELLI)
Yet Hester said she and her family were put more at ease by the care and hospitality of the staff at the Ronald McDonald House as baby Kyle began his monthlong battle toward becoming healthy.
“It made us feel like they are a home away from home,” Hester said as she held her now-healthy grandson at a Ronald McDonald House fundraising event Saturday in El Centro.
“They covered every need we had,” she said. “That is what they are designed to do and they fulfilled that.”
Because of their experiences there, Hester is leading the charge to raise money in the Imperial Valley for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.
The Ronald McDonald House is a 65,000 square-foot facility that provides comfort and support to all families with sick children in nearby hospitals in San Diego, according to a flier listing the available facilities.
About 25 percent of the resident guests of the Ronald McDonald House are from the Imperial Valley, according to a press release.
Hester and other fundraising volunteers have seen the needs of Imperial Valley residents looking for a place to stay first-hand.
“But when you’re over there you feel like it’s one big family because you’re all dealing with problems,” Hester said. “You become empathetic with them and you become like a big family.”
Now, Hester and others are in the process of signing up volunteers to help at the second annual Red Shoe Day fundraiser set for Sept. 28.
This will be the first time the fundraiser comes to the Imperial Valley.
“We’re going to be out on street corners with those red boots in Calexico, El Centro, Imperial and Brawley from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.,” Hester said.
As the volunteers of the Imperial Valley worked to raise awareness of their cause, some interested passers-by signed up to help at the Imperial Valley Mall.
“I want to help because I know what it’s like when you need a place to stay (in San Diego for medical treatment),” El Centro resident Rosalie Avila said. “It’s a good cause.”
The next Ronald McDonald House fundraising advance event for the Red Show Day drive will be Thursday at Chili’s restaurant in El Centro.
For more information contact Jan Hester, Red Shoe Day Imperial Valley coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-554-0534.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com