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Round Up! to Raise Love for families of sick children

Jamie Hansen had no time to waste.

Her newborn son, just hours old, was flown to a hospital a full day's drive away for a rare and unexpected surgery. Now, the day after Nicholas’ birth, Jamie and her husband, Joe, were making the eight-hour drive to be with their son.

Driving back to their home more than an hour away from the hospital where Nicholas was born in Marquette, MI, would take up precious minutes they didn't have. So Joe and Jamie – with only their hospital bags packed with change of clothes and a few necessities for what was supposed to be a short hospital stay – took off as soon as Jamie was released.

The newborn had undergone surgery even before his parents arrived at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. Nicholas was born with an opening between his bladder and belly button, called a patent urachus. The urachus usually closes before birth. Nicholas’ did not.

While Jamie and Joe were worried about their son, there was one thing they didn't have to worry about: where to stay. The Ronald McDonald House® was a haven while Nicholas was hospitalized.

“It was such a sad and hard time in our family, but they lifted our spirits so much,” said Jamie, a Thirty-One Gifts Consultant from Escanaba, Mich., whose older daughter Adalynn was 2½ years old when Nicholas was born.

This August you can help families just like Jamie's and Raise Love for RMHC by choosing to Round Up! your purchase (after tax and shipping) to the nearest dollar or to any amount. Funds raised will support Ronald McDonald House Charities®.

Thirty-One's partnership with RMHC

Thirty-One Gives has a powerful history of supporting RMHC. In addition to cash support, Thirty-One has donated hundreds of thousands of welcome bags to families when they arrive at Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Although Jamie wasn't yet a Consultant during her stay, she remembers receiving the Thirty-One welcome bag that she used as she traveled between the Ronald McDonald House, the NICU and the pumping rooms.

She also remembers the laundry room that allowed them to wash the few items they brought with them. The snacks and drinks that meant they didn't have to go to a grocery store. The bedroom that gave Jamie, still recovering from the birth, a place to rest after a long day in the NICU.

And it was all completely free, giving Jamie and Joe one less financial worry.

“We could just focus on our child, and that was the most important thing at that time,” she said.

Jamie and Nicholas today

Today Nicholas is a 2-year-old who loves basketball, books and dinosaurs. He's had no complications from his surgery.

Jamie knows that her family is one of the lucky ones.

“We were only there for about a week, but it felt like an eternity,” she says.

Before her own stay at a Ronald McDonald House, Jamie had seen television commercials and donation boxes at McDonald's restaurants. Now she has experienced RMHC's importance firsthand.

“I didn't even realize the impact until I went through it myself,” says Jamie.