A quarter of a century ago, a group of dedicated and hardworking volunteers celebrated the grand opening of a facility in Galveston that has had immeasurable impact on the lives of countless families.

After the Junior League of Galveston County identified the need, the nonprofit Help Us Give Support was established to raise money to build a “home away from home” for families of children being treated at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Shriners Hospital for Children and Transitional Learning Center.

After the building was opened, our volunteers have continued to donate time, talent and treasure to keep the dream alive. Today, the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston remains a locally owned and operated facility.

Imagine if you were the parent of a child needing treatment hundreds of miles away from your home. Money is tight, you can’t afford a hotel, yet you must be with your child. One by one, we have answered that need. We have helped countless children by enabling their families to be by their side when they needed them most.

This may surprise you, but I wish our 25th year could be our last. I wish there were no needs for our home, that during 2014, somehow, magically, children would stop getting sick, injured or burned. Unfortunately that is not to be, is it?

So, we will soldier on, doing the best we can to bring comfort to a baby and her family. How will we do that? With love, compassion and a big dose of Y-O-U.

To help celebrate our 25th year, we are remodeling the kitchen and dining area to make family meals more pleasant. Additionally, we are having two parties. On April 27, we are inviting the children in Galveston to come to a fun Candy Land Celebration at Moody Gardens, and on May 3, we will host our 25th Anniversary Gala, and I hope everyone will save that date to help us celebrate our remarkable success over the years. Please call our house at 409-762-8770 or email us at debbie@rmhg.org to make sure we have you on our mailing list for an invitation.

During the years, you have opened your heart to the needs of our families. You have cooked meals, donated toys and clothing, entertained our guests and responded generously to our fundraising appeals. You have helped us recover from the hurricane and showered our families with love and compassion.

Our House is filled with hope. Hope that each family will see a better tomorrow. Hope that today’s treatment will make a difference. Hope that we will see each child live and thrive and grow to be a happy and healthy grown-up.

We may never eliminate the challenges our guest families face in the future, but together with your generosity and human kindness, we will make their struggles more bearable.

Janice Pierson is president of the Ronald McDonald House in Galveston.

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