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Below Jacqueline Kitzan, the Communications Coordinator for Melcor Developments Ltd., shares her experience in one of our most treasured rooms, the Quilt Room:

To this day, I sleep with a blanket that was hand-made just for me. When I’m without it, sleep doesn’t come as easily. My family and lifelong friends will say, “You still have that old blanket?”

My blanket has been through the wringer. It has survived trips around the world, countless washes and has dried too many tears; it has braved the outdoors, been forgotten and found. It may be falling apart, but at times it holds me together.

The comfort that a blanket can give is something I am familiar with. It may be the only way I can relate to those that spend days, weeks and months at the Ronald McDonald House.

For families living here, every bit of comfort helps.

On your first day as a resident of the Ronald McDonald House you visit the Quilt Room. Here, you choose a handmade quilt that will see you through your stay and continue its duties long after recovery. It will survive countless washes and dry too many tears.

Entering the Quilt Room, you feel its warmth.

You scan the shelves and settle on one quilt that feels special enough to carry the weight of your struggle. My gaze floated to one with squares of simple flowers in purple, yellow and red. A thick, beige quilt stacked high atop all of the others.

The blankets are donated to the House by local quilting groups, churches, and students of Jasper Place High School. I like to think that the quilter imagines the person that will eventually receive the comfort of their work – That they dedicate their hours and ability to a child’s recovery.

Families can be apart for long periods of time while their child receives medical treatment in Edmonton.

The Ronald McDonald House provides one roof to House mothers, fathers and siblings. The stress of hospital visits is eased by the availability of meals and transportation and a community of families in similar situations. It provides comfort during a period of uncertainty, fear and hope. The Ronald McDonald House is a quilt that wraps itself around a family and brings them together.

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