LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dozens of families will be spending the holidays away from home as their loved ones get the medical attention they need.
To make the holiday feel a little bit more special, families at the Ronald McDonalds House Charities were treated to a Christmas shopping spree Wednesday.
They were greeted by Santa, a big red bin to fill with presents and "elves" from UofL Health's Frazier Rehab institute.
"It gives us an opportunity to share the Christmas spirit and just make them smile. It's the holiday season and they need to celebrate too,” Kelly Kennedy said. She volunteered to be “Sparkle the Elf.”
Moms like Deseray Hagan say the Ronald McDonald House makes a tough time easier.
"It feels like a second home to us, our first home because we're here more than we are at home,” she said.
It's a welcome relief to first-time grandmother Tammy Jo Pierce.
"Everything that I could have ever imagined,” she said.
Her grandchild, Gatlin James Oliver, was born 10 weeks early with a full head of hair.
His mom said he’s gone from two pounds to five, though Pierce said he's going to grow even bigger than that.
“He’s going to be the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys,” she said.
It’s a Christmas away from home but still filled with joy and love.
"I think a lot of families couldn't put it into words, walking back with their bins full, talking with Santa, talking with staff, I've heard so much of 'this is just a memory' or 'I wish my child who is in the hospital could have experienced this,'” Volunteer Coordinator Madison Weiter said.
The Ronald McDonald House, with Santa’s help, brought some Christmas magic.
If you wish to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House, click here.
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