The Hope of Christmas | A Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House Story

November 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

- A Ronald McDonald House Story - 

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

Hello Friends, can you believe there are only 25 days left until Christmas?  If you're like me, you're wondering how the time went so fast.  Your to-do list probably seems to grow overnight - and you might be feeling a tad overwhelmed by all the shopping and decorating that has to be done before Christmas.

One thing I can say for sure is that when your perspective shifts a bit and you begin to focus on those who may not have the luxuries of home, or maybe dealing with tragedy or sickness through the holiday season, it's a humbling experience.  My mom used to always tell me not to complain when I was younger.  I grew up poor, with parents who were both from the Caribbean and who didn't become citizens until I was grown.  If I began to remind them of the latest fashion that my peers were teasing me about not wearing, or complained about eating the same meal for dinner three or four nights in a row, you'd better believe I got a lecture!

Now that I'm older, I can look back at those times and realize that it taught me to rise above my circumstances - to not allow my experiences to make me bitter.  I'm so grateful for not always having the finest or the best of the best because I can truly appreciate having to work hard and learning how to smile through the difficult times.  Why is this so important, you may ask.  Learning to be grateful in any circumstance and remaining humble even when blessings come makes all the difference in the world.  

Well, I must say I was truly honored and blessed to spend a day at the Ronald McDonald House (Cincinnati) taking photographs of several families.  It brought so much joy and seeing the children's smiles really made my day!  You never know how much someone has gone through in their life or the struggles they've had to overcome to be where they are, and it just allows me to appreciate the strength and resiliency of families who fight every day for the little things we sometimes take for granted.  

Here are some of the moments I had the privilege to capture while at the Ronald McDonald House.  Enjoy the slideshow:

During this beautiful season of miracles, there are many opportunities for you or a group you're affiliated with to give to the Ronald McDonald House.  

  1. Spread Holiday Cheer is December 4, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  Join in the fun as Santa, Mrs. Clause and Ronald McDonald entertain the families and guests while the House is transformed for the holidays! 
  2. Fill Ronald's Workshop is another great opportunity to help spread the hope of Christmas by providing toys for the Ronald McDonald House children.  Click here to learn more.
  3. Volunteer opportunities are available for the Taste of Hope Meals program at the Ronald McDonald House.  When you come together with your colleagues, family, friends, church or civic group to prepare and serve at Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House, you help give families moments of togetherness.  Click here to learn more about how to provide a Taste of Hope!
  4. Another way to give is to donate items needed for the Ronald McDonald House Wish List Drive.  Ronald McDonald House depends on donated food and supplies to stay stocked with all the basic necessities required in a home.  To learn more of what items are needed, click here
  5. If you would like to Give a Gift to the Ronald McDonald House, simply donate online.  Click here to go directly to the donation page. (Please note that Rawls Photography & Design is not in any way affiliated with or sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House and no profit will be made by me when you donate to the Ronald McDonald House through the link provided.)

I would be remiss if I didn't also include how very happy I am for companies like CG Pro Prints, who see the value of giving hope to causes throughout the nation.  The Canvas for a Cause is a partner program that works with professional photographers to support various causes and non-profit organizations with canvas print donations.  The generosity of this wonderful program allowed each of the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House families photographed to receive a 12x12 canvas of a favorite pose. As an heirloom photographer, I always advocate for printing photos.  I've even joined PPA's Print Movement to help educate families on the significance of having a professional photographer as well as printing their memories to share for generations. 

Many thanks to Mike of the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House and Megan of CG Pro Prints Canvas for a Cause to make the hope of Christmas a joyful and memorable experience for each family.  Don't forget to hug your loved ones a little longer and tighter, enjoy sipping hot cocoa or baking home made cookies this season, as you preserve the hope of Christmas.

Until next time, stay blessed.

From my heart to yours,

Angenise Rawls


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