The main goal of the Ronald McDonald House is to create a home-away-from-home for families with children living with life-threatening illnesses. This is made possible through caring staff members, volunteers, donations, love and support. However one caregiver in particular provides a sense of home like nothing else. He is patient, loving, happy and very hairy. His name is Jerry and he is the House’s dog.
Since families cannot bring their pets with them during their stay, Jerry, a Labradoodle (Labrador retriever/poodle), was generously donated as a gift to the House at the annual Fam Glam fundraising event in October, 2006. Since then he has given support, playfulness, laughter, and plenty of cuddle sessions to anyone who crosses his path. Although just a young dog, Jerry has already become a professional cheer-giver for everyone living and working in the House.
A typical day in Jerry’s world is made up of playing with kids, napping, listening to troubles, getting his head scratched and visiting people all around the House – he is a true social-butterfly. He stays healthy and fed thanks to the Ronald McDonald House’s partnership with Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet, a provider of all Jerry essentials including toys, food and supplies for the upcoming year.
In times of heartache and stress, any second of relief can lift a thousand burdens – allowing those in pain to simply breathe. Jerry is of course innocent to know the power of his presence, but he has given these moments countless times for children and their families. His gift is something no doctor, medicine, or treatment can offer – putting a feeling of home into the House.