By Sharon McTigue
Special to The Outlook
Throughout a year of social distancing, excessive sanitizing and other prohibitive COVID restrictions, National Charity League of Pasadena managed to find a way to continue to serve one of their most beloved philanthropies — the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House.
With a history dating back two decades, the mother-daughter teams of NCL have managed to navigate the COVID-19 protocols and reinvent their “Meals of Love” program so as to continue to provide weekly hot meals for the families in residence. Without being able to access the on-site kitchens to cook the meals, NCL looked to local restaurants to prepare them and then purchased the meals, which they could then safely deliver to the house. It was truly a community win-win for all involved.
“NCL has really stepped up to provide meals in a way that’s safe for the families,” said Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Mara Leong-Maguinez.
Located on Pasadena Avenue near Huntington and Shriner’s hospitals, the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House is perfectly situated to support the special needs of families with critically ill children. The PRMH officially took up residence in the two historic craftsman homes on Valentine’s Day in 2004. Originally built in 1910 and 1912 for then-California Gov. Henry Markum and his five daughters, the homes boast 17 bedrooms between them and sit on a large campus with plenty of outdoor space to relax and play. The house can serve as many as 17 families at a time and offers comfortable beds, hot meals and a wonderfully caring staff, all at no charge to the families. Funded in small part by the McDonald’s Charities, the house relies on the generosity of individual donors and local community partners to be able to care for the families. Last year, they served over 526 families by providing 5,489 overnight stays.
NCL is so proud of its partnership with PRMH and all the great work they do. We will continue to serve the modified mobile meals and look forward to the day when we can return to the kitchens and prepare them with love.