It is no secret that I am a big man with big feet. I have lovingly been called, and referred to myself as, “Big Foot”, “Sasquatch”, and “Mutant Shoe” for many years. There is a funny story behind the last one that I will tell you another time. So what do my big feet have to do with anything? What do they have to do with volunteering? This week I met a special person whose feet make mine look small. That person was the one and only Ronald McDonald.
A few months ago we joined The Red Shoe Crew. It is a group of families who have come together to advocate and fundraise for the Ronald McDonald House of Northeast Indiana. The Ronald McDonald House is a nonprofit organization that offers a home-away-from-home for families who have a child hospitalized at Parkview Regional Medical Center. A newly opened 9000 square foot home provides first-rate accommodations to families at no charge. It is a true treasure for families in Northeast Indiana. It is an organization that we grew fond of after volunteering with them more than a year ago. You can learn more about them and read about our previous experience by checking out “A Home Away From Home.”
This week we volunteered during WOWO’s annual Penny Pitch fundraiser. For more than 60 years WOWO radio has been giving back to the Fort Wayne community through the Penny Pitch. This year the Ronald McDonald House was chosen as the sole beneficiary of all donations. Our first task was to help collect change at the gates of the Allen County Coliseum during a Komets’ hockey game. We welcomed fans as they entered the arena, collected spare change, and sold McDonald’s coupon books. The highlight of the night was meeting the aforementioned Ronald McDonald. He in his red, mega-sized clown shoes and me in my red Chuck Taylor converse debated who had larger feet. After comparison there was no comparison. He is the ultimate “Mutant Shoe”.
Our second task of Penny Pitch was to help answer the phones during a two-day radio-a-thon. WOWO radio personalities went on-air for two days and asked listeners to reach into their pockets to help the Ronald McDonald House. That, my friends, is exactly what they did. We answered phones for 3 hours and it was non-stop. Call after call came in with people making pledges and donating whatever they could. The WOWO community really stepped up and made it happen. It was great to talk with many individuals who have been impacted by the services provided by the “House”. They know just how special it is.
In all, more than $65,000 was raised for the Ronald McDonald House during the Penny Pitch. It shows that chips do makes chunks. Regardless if you donate your spare change at a hockey game or you write a large check during a phone-a-thon, it all adds up in the end. It is further proof that small acts have large impact. We had a great time volunteering with the Red Shoe Crew. We love the Ronald McDonald House and its mission. We want you to do your part to support families in your area. It is easy. The next time you visit your local McDonald’s location, drop your spare change in the red collection bin. All of the money donated goes directly to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in your area.