The Ronald McDonald House Providence provides homes for many families in need, including the Ovalles family who stayed at the house just last year.
It was in April of 2011 that the Ovalles family experienced the unexpected. "There was a house fire where both Adrian and my husband were pretty critically injured" said Wanda Ovalles.
Husband, Wilson, and two year old son, Aiden, suffered severe burns. Aiden had over 76% of his body burned while Wilson burned over 56% of his body.
"Once we were in the hospital I literally lost everything in the fire. We lost the house, all of our belongings, and all I kept thinking that night was ‘what am I going to do'," Wanda said. It was then that she found the Ronald McDonald House.
It was the home away from home that she desperately needed.
"It was just so much more than what I expected. They took us in literally like this was our house. They got us a room that had a bathroom, we had access to the kitchen, and my mom was able to stay with me for a couple weeks. It was just amazing to know there was a place like this," said Wanda.
The volunteers gave comfort in her time of need.
"It was just amazing. They would always ask me ‘how are they doing?', ‘how can I make your stay better?', ‘how can we help you help them?' Everyone went above and beyond," Wanda said.
Even something as simple as making soup for Aiden was special to Wanda.
"Some people would look at it like you're just making soup, but for me it was just like I have that opportunity to sort of bring some sort of normalcy back to him," she said.
Over 18 months and several surgeries later, things are getting back to normal. Wanda and her family are forever grateful for what the house provided.
"I feel like they gave so much to me when I needed so much so I definitely plan on keeping contact and being involved in one way or another with the house," Wanda said.
Mary Larsen: Nick, what comes to mind when you think of a story like this?
Nick Cardi: We're grateful that this story had a happy ending, and that we could be part of the house. Some people stay at the house for a few days, some people stay for months and months on end, and not every story ends as happy as this one did, but that's why we've taken the role of on-going supporter all these years. The staff and volunteers do amazing work, and one of the ways folks at home can helps is by joining us at the Gala on November 3.
Mary Larsen: Will, Michaela and I will be joining you that evening and it's taking place at the Ocean House. Ron, what else can you tell us about that evening?
Ron Cardi: If you've never been to the ocean house in Westerly, you are really in for a treat. A few years ago, the hotel was completely renovated, and it is absolutely beautiful. For the Gala, it will be black tie optional, we've already ordered our tuxes from Gara's, and there's going to be delicious food as you saw last week on the Rhode Show, entertainment from the band: High Definition, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes. It's a great evening to have fun and support the Ronald McDonald house in Providence!
Mary Larsen: Pete, I understand there's an online auction and live auction as part of the evening, with some pretty amazing items!
Pete Cardi: The timing couldn't be better, because you can get your holiday shopping done and write it off for taxes because of the donation, but there are tickets to see the Patriots, spa packages, kindles, flying lessons and for the live auction, that evening, some of the items include a one week trip to the Wren in Vail, Colorado with skiing, a week on Martha's Vineyard, and a request we get so many times: a walk on role in an upcoming Cardi's Furniture commercial. We have a lot of fun, see how all the magic happens, and your friends and family will see you on TV! All the details are on the website, so start bidding!
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