On a cold December night, the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield was filled with laughter, smiles and Christmas spirit.
The Ronald McDonald House kicked off the season of giving by opening their home to the community for the annual Lights of Love celebration that benefits children in area hospitals.
Executive Director Michelle D’amore told 22News, “As they’re receiving treatment for so many months out of the year, this really gives them an opportunity to just relax and just take a deep breath, and remember there is a holiday season and we are going to celebrate with them.”
Members of the Ronald McDonald House enjoyed crafts, cookies, cocoa with Santa, caroling, and a special tree lighting.
22News spoke with a former member of The Ronald McDonald House, who is now a member of their teen board that volunteers and spends time with families at the house.
“I spent some time at The Ronald McDonald House myself,” said Gillian Gray. “It’s good to be able to pay back my time at the house and spend time with families here too.”
The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families like Rasheema Richards and her son who was born with a clubfoot.
Richards came to Springfield all the way from St. Croix for treatment. She said the celebration marks a happy time for her and her son.
“It’s relaxing for me, even though I come far away from home but I’m having fun,” Richards said. “Even when you’re going through hard times. holiday joy could just bring smiles to anyone.”