Red Shoe Day Raises Funds for Valley Families

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Pioneers Memorial Hospital staff volunteers wave down cars on Legion Road in Brawley Wednesday, asking for donations to fill the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoes.
Pioneers Memorial Hospital staff volunteers wave down cars on Legion Road in Brawley Wednesday, asking for donations to fill the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoes.

BRAWLEY — Volunteers from across Imperial Valley came together October 19 to help support the Ronald McDonald House charity during this year’s annual Red Shoe Day.

Over 60 people collected donations for the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego, a charity that helps many families in the Valley through crisis as their children suffer from disease and sickness. Volunteers stood on the corners of several major intersections throughout the county holding the famous red shoes and asking for donations for the charity.

The Ronald McDonald House of San Diego is a facility where families can stay to be near their children when they are in medical crisis due to illness or an accident that leaves them in critical condition. The facility provides lodging, meals, support — anything that will make a child’s family’s stay easier and allow them to be near them.

“A large percentage of our families are actually from the Imperial Valley,” said Beth van Eetveldt, Major Gifts Officer for Ronald McDonald House, “and so when those families are in crisis and they can’t participate in giving back, this gives families a chance to give back to the Ronald McDonald House in a charity that has supported them in a terrible time in their life.”

El Centro resident Eder Mendoza’s family is one that has benefitted from the San Diego Ronald McDonald House.

When Mendoza was young, his sister was very sick and had to be in the hospital in San Diego for treatment for a summer. He recalled his family relocating to the San Diego Ronald McDonald house in order to stay near her, just like many families do in the Valley.

“People there are just so friendly and it’s like a home away from home,” said Mendoza, who has volunteered for Red Shoe Day for the past four years to give back.

“Ronald McDonald House allows parents to stay literally across the street from their child’s hospital bed and to be part of every major decision, every shift change, every major movement in their child’s prognosis,” said Van Eetveldt.

This year, Pioneers Memorial Hospital was one of two main collection sites in the Valley, with the other being El Centro Regional Medical Center.  All of the money raised Wednesday morning from the intersections was gathered together at these locations.

Red Shoe Day events usually raise about $15,000 a year for the San Diego Ronald McDonald House. PMH also donated an extra $600 after a “Jean Day” event held at the hospital.

“Pioneers looks forward to continuing to work with Ronald McDonald House,” said Richard Morales, PMH Community Outreach Coordinator.