Under the Roof Fall 2021 Newsletter

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of Central Texas

Under the Roof Fall 2021

Baby Mica’s Story Byron and Stephanie ended up staying at the Ronald McDonald House for 23 nights while baby Mica underwent treatment and procedures. Having this home-away-from-home was invaluable to them while they focused on giving their daughter the care she needed.

Upon giving birth to baby Mica on March 5th, 2021, Stephanie Jaramillo and Byron Todd learned that she had been born with Pierre-Robin Syndrome, a congenital condition that affects the lower jaw and palate. Urgently, within an hour of being born, baby Mica was rushed from the hospital in Kyle to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.

“It was one less thing to have to worry about in a difficult situation. We were just so, so thankful.” - Stephanie Jaramillo-Todd

“It was extremely stressful. We were concerned about Mica that was the big concern. But still, there’s life. We were concerned about our jobs. We’re both teachers. We didn’t know what we would do tomorrow or the day after that. The biggest thing, besides Mica breathing, was ‘Where are we going to stay?’ — Stephanie Jaramillo and Byron Todd.

Today, baby Mica is growing and thriving. We are so grateful to Stephanie and Byron for sharing their story and remaining a long-lasting part of the RMHC CTX family.

2021 At-Home Events a Success! Starlight Affair: On June 5, 2021 we came together to celebrate Starlight Affair, with remote parties across the Brazos Valley! From the vocals of Morgan Ashley, to Chip-O and Wine Toss, to sharing in the love of the Clevenger family, it was truly an inspiring evening. The Brazos Valley community generously came together to make sure that families with hospitalized children are surrounded with love. Thanks to all of you we raised over $175,000 for RMHC CTX families!

Bandana Ball: Thanks to RMHC CTX’s incredibly generous supporters, the 32nd Annual Bandana Ball on September 17th knocked it out of the park, raising $500,000 for families! At-home parties entertained guests with mechanical bulls, armadillo races, specialty cocktails and a delicious menu. Thank you to all who tuned in to meet the Jaramillo-Todd Family and baby Mica, bid in the spirited live auction, and give generously from the heart during Sponsor a Family.

Be the Light Be Light

Over the course of the last year and a half, our communities - both the Central Texas community at large, and the RMHC CTX community - have been bright lights for our families. Without this support, RMHC CTX would not have been able to continue providing its services throughout the turbulence of the pandemic. We hope you will join us this giving season to #BetheLight for RMHC CTX families as we light up the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms with festive decorations and a celebratory spirit. It takes a village, and we are incredibly grateful for ours. For more information visit: https://rmhc-ctx.org/bethelight.

Giving Levels The Impact of your Gift $15,000+ SOLD Thank you to ABC Home & Commercial Services

Your gift will wrap the RMHC alphabet blocks on Barbara Jordan Blvd. in front of the Ronald McDonald House like holidays gifts. Only (1) opportunity available. $10,000+ Your gift will light up the Ronald McDonald House exterior West Wall with your logo or name in lights. (3) opportunities available. $5,000 - $9,999 Your gift will light up the Ronald McDonald House and in-hospital Family Rooms and be recognized with a banner or prominent yard sign. Several opportunities available: (3) perimeter fence and (3) exterior trees. $2,500 - $4,999 Your gift will feature your name on a gingerbread village near the playscape at the Ronald McDonald House or a Ronald McDonald Family Room garden. $1,000 - $2,499 Your gift will feature your name on a wreath displayed on guest rooms doors at the Ronald McDonald House or signs on Sleep Rooms in Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. (30) wreaths and (17) signs available. $500 - $999 will feature your name on a decorative wall at the Ronald McDonald House or in a Brazos Valley Ronald McDonald Family Room. $250 - $499 Your gift will feature your name on an ornament displayed on RMHC CTX holiday trees in the Ronald McDonald House or in a Ronald McDonald Family Room. $1 - $249 Your gift will keep families near the care their children need. A gift of $125 provides one night in the Ronald McDonald House or a Ronald McDonald Family Room in Austin or Bryan-College Station.


A Message from Carolyn Schwarz, CEO Thank you to all who continue to support our families—Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas could not have continuously provided services safely during this challenging time without your generosity! While we have had to get creative with the ways we assisted our families—QR codes for orders via our Happy Wheels Carts, catered meals for our House and Family Room families, virtual support groups for Healing Hearts—we never closed our doors to the families with hospitalized children who needed us. And now, we are excited that all of our programs continue to be up and running and that we are welcoming back some of our amazing volunteers. As our region continues its explosive growth and our amazing Central Texas hospitals increase their capacity to provide world-class, specialized pediatric healthcare, RMHC CTX now faces some new challenges. Our Ronald McDonald House has had a waitlist of more than 1,000 families over the last 2 years and 600 of these families were never even able to stay one night with us. We need to do better for our families, but we can’t solve this issue alone. Our team is having thoughtful conversations with our community partners about how we can best meet this challenge and serve the increasing number of families who are in need of a place to stay near their critically ill or injured child. As conversations evolve, we’ll keep you updated on ways you can help. Please know that your generosity now, and in the future, is greatly appreciated and needed. Thank you!

Monthly Donors Give from the Heart For families with hospitalized children, the support of the very special donors who give every month really adds up. RMHC CTX’s monthly donors support families for a variety of reasons, and we want to share what inspires them to open their hearts each month.

“It’s our absolute pleasure to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas as monthly donors. Giving monthly is so easy to do and leverages how much greater we can support a vital mission that serves families in the darkest and hardest times. We were recipients of RMHC CTX’s Healing Hearts program when we lost our 2nd daughter in 2007 and are forever grateful to the House for how it gave our family hope in a time of great despair.” — Fayruz Benyousef and Malek Ben-Musa Whether donors give $10 or $500 every month, the impact for families is immediate. Even $10 can provide a box of snacks for the Happy Wheels Cart to bring nourishment to families staying at their child’s bedside.

“Each month I make a donation in honor of my clients as a way to support Ronald McDonald House financially and bring awareness to the organization and their mission.”

FALL WISH LIST Every item given from our Wish List helps to support thousands of families that are served by RMHC CTX. During this season of giving, consider hosting a Wish List drive to collect items. Items that we are currently in most need of include:

Most-Needed Items To-Go Containers compostable preferred Individually Wrapped Breakfast Items Individually Wrapped Snacks (including gluten-free options) Adult Coloring Books and Puzzle Books 45-Gallon Trash Bags “Forever” Postage Stamps

— Silvia Ward Carden

Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Marek Meet Ann Marek! Ann has volunteered with RMHC CTX since 2017 and served countless families at all three hospitals in the Brazos Valley. You can find Ann in one of our Family Rooms, serving from the Happy Wheels Cart or sharing meals with families. Ann is a former pediatric registered nurse who is passionate about serving others and gives generously of her time to support those in need. Our families always feel loved and cared for when Ann is volunteering.


Cook Nights are Back ! Meals from the Heart Program Overview It was truly difficult for RMHC CTX to be forced to stop inviting meal providers on-site at the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms as a result of the pandemic. We are so grateful that, even during all of the uncertainty, our community chose to nourish our families in other ways, like ordering meals or box lunches from restaurants. We are thrilled that we have been able to welcome back live meal groups since June 1st. Since then we have had more than 60 groups in our kitchen! That’s nearly 250 volunteers who have dedicated time to prepare amazing meals for our families. In that short time our meal providers have whipped up nearly 1,500 meals. If you’re interested in providing a meal for our families, please contact Andrew Mack at amack@rmhc-ctx.org.

Host an Event Host an Event Benefiting RMHC CTX Benefiting

RMHC CTX Looking for a way to have fun and get creative while making a difference for RMHC CTX families? We would love to be the beneficiary of your community event or campaign! Whether you’re interested in hosting a bake sale or a car wash, a golf tournament or online fundraising page, you can have an impact while also having fun. To learn more about our Fundraiser Guidelines or how to set up a fundraising page, contact Michelle Barran at mbarran@rmhc-ctx.org.

Planned Giving At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, we provide hope and support to children and their families by keeping them together when they need it most. Your gifts allow us to offer strength to children who are sick through our core programs and familycentered care. Many of our donors choose to support the future of these families through planned gifts. Unlike cash donations, planned gifts are typically made from assets in your estate rather than from disposable income, and may come to fruition after your lifetime. Even people of modest means can make a difference in the lives of children by planning a gift. Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit us after your lifetime, we can help you find a charitable plan that meets your goals. With your help, we can continue to make children healthier and happier by giving families a place to stay close to their hospitalized kids. What an incredible legacy you can leave! The following language is an example of wording that may be used to name Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas as a beneficiary of your last will and testament. Your gift may be of a specific dollar amount or it may also be of a percentage of your estate. “I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, [federal tax ID #74-2277664], [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

Thank You

to this Season’s Sponsor Heroes

ADOPT A ROOM Ashley HomeStore Benton Enterprises Brookfield Residential Enterprise Holdings Foundation The Farias Family Patrick & Beth Leahy Lennar UPS Foundation

Remembering our Children Memorial Celebration October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and each year we come together with our partners at Hand to Hold, March of Dimes, and Ascension Seton to honor and remember the children that have been tragically lost by our collective community. This year, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to host a memorial celebration on social media and record an online service in lieu of hosting the Memorial Service in person. You can watch the service on our YouTube channel at: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=6OaviFR218Y.

The Wiseman Family

HAPPY WHEELS CARTS Meyer Levy Charitable Trust Dignity Memorial

FAMILY ROOM HERO Cook-Walden Funeral Homes & Cemeteries / Dignity Memorial


The Season of Giving Provide a Meal Matching Gifts

Share the Gift of Your Time Are you a young professional looking to network and give back to your community? Consider joining Friends of the House! Friends of the House is a young professionals group that comes together to support the children and families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Together, members fundraise, volunteer and participate in events that bring comfort to our families. For more information visit rmhc-ctx.org/get-involved/ friends-of-the-house/.

Santa’s Workshop Help make RMHC CTX families’ holidays bright! We need your help assembling a limited number of gift bags for each RMHC CTX family member with a select list of items. To find out how to participate, visit rmhc-ctx.org/get-involved.

Come put your cooking skills to work or order a meal from a restaurant or caterer — breakfast, lunch or dinner — for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Does your company match philanthropic giving? Consider making a monetary gift this season and following your employer’s matching gift process to double your impact.

Leave a Legacy One of the best ways our community can make a big impact for our future is by including RMHC CTX in your will. Contact kcampbell@rmhc-ctx.org for more information.

of Central Texas 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin, TX 78723

Board of Directors Officers Patrick Ley, President Ryan Meyer, Treasurer Thomas Aylor, Secretary David Ritter, President-Elect Board Members David Aronica Bobby Boenigk Christopher Born Nicky Brenning Justin Brodnax, Ex-Officio JoAnn Dalrymple Karen Dolan Thomas Fowler Bob Frazier Tam Hawkins Emeritus Danny Baker Carol Crowley Mary Love Henderson Hal Leverson*

Sandeep Kumar, Ex-Officio Garrett Martin Katie Owen BG Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. Molly Sherman Meredith Silliman Sterling Smith Chris Szeliga Wendolyn Washington Garry Wiseman Earl Wurzbach Denny Meyer* Karen Teel Vivian Todd* Elizabeth Williams Tomi Winstead *In Memoriam

“Had it not been for the [Ronald McDonald House] accommodations and staff we would have been so stressed over where to stay and what to eat the 34 days we were here. I was able to solely focus on my son’s health, surgery and recovery due to the wonderful people here at [the Ronald McDonald House]. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” — The Payton-Zavalas

Welcome to RMHC of Central Texas! Our inspiring staff is how we keep families together. New Staff Members

Nat Rivera, Guest Services Representative

Casey Vargas, Guest Services Representative