EL CENTRO – More than 250 volunteers hit the streets at 16 key intersections across the Imperial Valley Wednesday morning with one goal in mind: to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities through the 5th annual “Red Shoe Day” fundraiser.
“The Ronald McDonald House once helped me and for that I am very thankful. My donation today is just a token of appreciation, but it is nowhere compared to the help I received from them for lodging, meals and hospitality,” said Jeanette Ramos, El Centro.
From 7:00 to 10:00 a.m., volunteers manned their stations dressed up in bright red t-shirts and clown outfits carrying a big red shoe and waving signs encouraging drivers and pedestrians to donate and create awareness of the San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House.
“Today my goal is to help fundraise for the children in need and their families” said Briana Aguirre, volunteer.
Ronald McDonald House Charities is located next to Rady Children’s Hospital and provides a “home away from home” for families with children treated for serious, and often life-threatening conditions.
Last year, Imperial Valley residents raised over $51,000 for the Ronald McDonald House on Red Shoe Day.
“It’s always good to give to the community and help those in need,” said Victor Martinez, volunteer.
Each day, an estimated 250 family members rely on the facility for overnight stays, meals, laundry, and other amenities during their stay. The facility has a total of 47 rooms that are occupied nightly and offers and on-site school for siblings of hospitalized children.
“Years ago, my brother had an accident and was hospitalized at Rady. My family and I were going through rough times, we didn’t have anything. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House where they provided us with meals and a place to sleep,” said Martinez. “It’s good to know programs like these exist for those in need.”
Last year, the Ronald McDonald House provided care to 563 Imperial Valley families who used a total of 7,124 nights of lodging. Imperial County families make up twenty-five percent of the yearly usage of the facility.