Our daughter, Norah Mae, was born on March 1st. Heaven lent us our perfect little girl for 5 days before she returned to play with the angels. During what was without question the hardest experience of our lives, the Ronald McDonald house provided us a space to gather, connect, and survive.
While I was still recovering from my C-Section, my husband and I were welcomed with open arms into the Ronald McDonald House for meals or to gather family just steps away from our precious baby girl. After I was discharged from the hospital, we spent our last two nights at the RMH, just down the hall from the NICU. The RMH acted as a hub for visiting friends and family as well as a safe haven for us to be able to recharge while being just a phone call away from the NICU nurses. We enjoyed meals prepared with love by volunteers that nourished our soul. Our room was fully stocked with every necessity we forgot, we had access to snacks whenever we were hungry, and the best part (in Lane’s opinion) was the never-empty pot of hot black coffee.
Because we received so much from this incredible organization, it was never a question of whether or not we were going to give back; it was a question of when.
It started on our anniversary, when we served dinner from the same crock pots, in the same kitchen, at the same RMH that served us. Our group consisted of family and friends that had gathered in that space with us just 4 months ago; the impact of this act of service was not lost on anyone in our group. Being able to be on the other side of the counter, to be the one offering a warm smile and a homemade meal to those whose pain we know all too well was such an honor.
Now, we’re starting to see that Norah is an incredible gift giver, and that when she gives, she goes BIG.
I had been praying for some way to use my birthday in August as a way to support the RMH; maybe we could serve a meal, or maybe we could shop for items on their wish list.
Norah’s idea? How about attending one of the biggest fundraising events of the year for RMH.
On my birthday, August 5th, we will be participating in the Ronald McDonald House 3 mile Family Walk. There are multiple competitive events happening that day, but the Family Walk is special – it’s specifically for former and current RMH families.
We decided to not only participate, but to start Team Norah and work together to raise money to allow the RMH to provide the very same services we received.
I’m a huge fan of getting something tangible when donating, so I decided to start a t-shirt campaign as a driver for our fundraising efforts. The design was based on a line in a Midsummer Night’s Dream that so beautifully captured Norah’s personality – ”Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
We had hoped to raise $200, but like I said, Norah goes BIG.
As of this writing, we’ve raised $1,500 in t-shirt sales and almost $1,000 through our team fundraising.
Every dollar that we receive fills my heart with joy.
There aren’t words to express the amount of gratitude we have for every hour and every dollar donated that supported us during the hardest experience of our lives.
Having the opportunity to give back in honor of Norah brings me to tears – tears for the best of reasons.
Hey friends! My name is Joanna and I’m a mama to Norah Mae, our daughter in heaven. I’m a designer by day and a blogger by night. You can follow our story of loss, grief, faith and love over at our blog: Hello, Norah.