WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -  A Wood-Ridge business is again collecting items for the Ronald McDonald House affiliated with a children's hospital in Philadelphia.

Dave Meredith and Lisa LaCorte are again collecting toys and supplies for the Ronald McDonald House at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, also known as CHOP. Last year, they led efforts through their business, Meredith Family Agency, and collected a van stuffed full of toys and supplies for the Christmas holiday.

"Ronald McDonald House provides housing, meals, and services for displaced families who need to be with their children struggling in hospitals," said Meredith. "They are staffed by mostly volunteers who work hard to help families through the worst times of their lives. We were once one of those families, and we look to give back as much as we can, especially at Christmas time."

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Meredith detailed his family's first-hand experience.

"Imagine that your child has a life threatening illness or injury. The only specialist who can help is in a hospital far from home and your job.  Now imagine that you are told to prepare for an extended stay or several frequent visits.  The survival of your child depends on you remaining at their side, but the reality of literally being homeless and often jobless through that time suddenly kicks you in the face. You need a place close by to clean up, eat, rest, and manage basic duties outside of the hospital, but you are in a major city where the cheapest hotel room starts at $250 per night. For most, that’s unsustainable at best and not possible at worse.  Enter Ronald McDonald House.  Ronald McDonald House  provides shelter, meals, rides, and many other services to help families like this who face medical crisis far from home with their struggling child in the hospital.  They suggest a donation of $15 per night, but even that is not required if the family can’t afford it.  We don’t have to imagine, because that family was us."  

Meredith said they are not asking for money donations, but rather, items such as canned food, paper goods, cleaning supplies and personal toiletries, and other items to help restock the pantry. New toys are being collected including board games, dolls, action figures, books, puzzles, G-rated movies, children-friendly video games, and outdoor games, for the holiday season.

Meredith said people can reach out if interested in helping with the collection at 201-374-7200, extension 311. Items can be dropped at the office Monday, through Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm.

Meredith Family Allstate Agency is located at 219 Valley Blvd in Wood-Ridge.

 

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