Thursday, August 13, 2020

Letter: Rori’s 7th annual Toy Drive for RMH

Can you imagine what it would be like to suddenly have your child admitted to the hospital for an emergency procedure, or even what it would be like to have your child admitted for a planned long term treatment?

Can you imagine what it would be like to have your child in the hospital over the Christmas season, and not know if they will be home for Christmas morning?

Or wonder if you will have time to leave the hospital for a shower let alone to shop for that special gift for your child?

Hi everyone! My name is Rori Bennett, I live in Wallaceburg Ontario with my parents, Kim McAuley and Joel Bennett.

On October 19, 2019, I turned 15 years old.

To celebrate my birthday, I will be running my seventh annual toy drive for the children and families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Southwestern Ontario in London. I am trying to collect as many new and unwrapped toys as possible, to donate to the Christmas Room at the Ronald McDonald House of Southwestern Ontario in London. All of the new and unwrapped toys go to the Christmas Room, providing toys and other gifts for children of all families who are in the hospital over the Christmas season.

The fundraiser started on October 21st, 2019, and will end on November 21st, 2019. Donations can be dropped off at the rental office located at 780 Wallace St in unit 104, Pure Academy in Wallaceburg, Chatham and Lakeshore, St. James Anglican Church, and Kent Lambton Roman Catholic Family of Parishes located at Holy Family Church, and Homeward Realty in Wallaceburg.

Future locations will be announced at a later time. I will be delivering the toys and personal items before Christmas to be used over the Christmas season for the children at the Ronald McDonald House. I would really appreciate any new toys you are able to give.

To find out more information about the Ronald McDonald House of Southwestern Ontario, to arrange to be a drop off location, to arrange a pickup, or to arrange a drop off at my home around your schedule, you can contact me through the group link on Facebook.

I will be accepting toys as well as monetary donations, which will be used to purchase toys at the end for the more difficult to buy for age groups.

100% of the proceeds go toward purchasing gifts for the children and families, ages 0-18 years, who use the house throughout the Christmas season.

The Ronald McDonald House truly is a home away from home for so many families as they stay close to their children in the hospital. With the help of staff and volunteers, the purpose of the house varies for everyone, giving parents and families a place to stay, or just shower and freshen up, a place to eat, or just have a coffee, or maybe just a friendly shoulder to cry on, or a place for a distraction.

My family has used the house numerous times since I was four months old, the most recent being the summer of 2018, when I was admitted for emergency surgery because my shunt malfunctioned. The Ronald McDonald House gave my dad a place to stay since only one parent could stay in the room with me. The Ronald McDonald Room located on the 6th floor of the Children’s Hospital in London, which is run by donations made to the RMH, also provided snacks, meals, and a place for my family to do laundry during my hospital stay. I cannot tell you how important it is for me to give back to a charity that has given my family so much.

Thank you for your support and for helping me to give back to this wonderful charity that has helped my family and so many others.

Thank you.

Rori Bennett

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