"The House That Love Built"

This is the house
Where families meet
To continue their lives,
To eat and sleep,
To find their strengths
And dry their tears,
To look forward with Hope
To better years.
This is the house
That becomes thier home.
This is
“The House that LOVE built”

I had the privelege today to visit the Ronald McDonald House right here in Columbia and I came away with a sense of how special it is for folks to contribute their time/talent to others they may never see or know.

In my remarks, I shared that it was no coincidence why I was there this morning. About 24 years ago, my first job was at a McDonald’s in Greenville. One of our motto’s that has stuck with me since then was “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” That’s exactly what happened today – thanks to several local businesses and their employees!

God has a plan for everyone (see Jeremiah 29:11) and this morning, his plan was for me to be there.

Reed Mattingly (Irmo) invited me to visit this morning and I was pleased to learn that he and Randy Roe (Irmo) had helped spearhead the First Annual Spring Clean at the House. Reed and Randy own Duraclean , right here in Irmo. They worked with the Ronald McDonald House staff to ask other local businesses donate their time and talents to the home-away-from-home for over 8,000 children and families for the past 23 years!

I wish I could remember all the names (anyone who knows, please feel free to list or email me: UPDATED AT END OF POST 5/6/2009) but I do know that one was also from our community: Danville Business Advisors (Bill Danielson-Irmo, Marion Turbeville – Chapin).

More than just seeing the generosity of others, I also came away with a better perspective of how trivial my “problems” are compared to others.

First off, I met Suzy Shealy whose family helped start the house back in the early 80s. During our conversation (she said nothing about being an artist ) I learned of the loss of her son in Iraqi and of how her daughter had a near-death experience a few years ago. Suzy is on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia and I could tell how special the House was to her.

I then met some of the current guests (I’ll withold names for privacy) who had recently given birth to very premature babies. They shared about other families who were not at the House that morning because they had children who were having surgery.

Those things really knocked me back as I sat thinking about all the times I complain about “problems” when these mothers/families have children (small babies) facing large battles. They also spend days/weeks/months away from their homes.

I know money is tight for everyone and charitable giving is down across the country; but if you could find a few dollars – or if you could help by volunteering your time/talents – I know it would make a world of difference to these families who are going through troubling times – away from their homes in other parts of our state.

I’ve made it easy by linking to the contribution page here . You’re just a click away from making a difference.

Or, feel free to email House Manager, Liz Atkinson, at rmhouse@bellsouth.net or call 254-3181 ext. 29.

The following companies donated their time, talents, money to this wonderful cause! Please consider them for any needs you may have!

Century Glass
5326 Bush River Road,
Columbia, SC
Phone: (803) 256-8134

Danville Business Advisors
500 Taylor St # 401
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 765-1230

Duraclean Professional Services
1779 Dutch Fork Rd
Irmo, SC 29063
Phone: (803) 732-2000

Southern Atlantic Mechanical Contractors (SAMCO)
7200 Broad River
Irmo, sc 29063-9655
Phone: (803) 781-9825

Lyles & Lyles Construction
1128 Round Top Church Rd.
Blythewood, SC 29106
Phone: (803) 600-5199

Midlands Landscaping
406 Carter Ln,
Lexington, SC
Phone: (803) 356-8080

Midlands Electrical
1022 Industrial CT
Lexington, SC 29072-3733
Phone: (803) 996-3300

Palmetto HomeStyle Kitchen & Bath
203C Dooley Rd
Lexington, SC 29073
Phone: (803) 358-9120

Power Wash Systems
143 Haywain Drive
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone: (803) 600-0289