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There is a mother devastated by pain behind every child suffering. She can only stay close to her little baby powerless, hoping that the skills of someone else will be able to cure him . Surely she can give her love as a lifeblood, but she needs to be close to him.She can give her love as a lifeblood, but she needs to be close to him and often it is not easy. Find an accommodation close to the hospital it is often impossible with high costs for long stays.

Ronald Houses are a drop in the sea of this desperation, financed and supported by the American giant McDonald with his Foundation for Children. There are four in Italy (Brescia, Palidoro, Rome, Florence), affiliated with the pediatric Hospital ”Bambino Gesù”. They host, with a symbolic contribution of a few Euros (for those who can afford it), the parents of young patients hospitalized.

Next to parents and their children there is an army of volunteers, “normal” people who dedicate hours of their own time to be near, helping them day by day. They try to help moms and dads in this painful journey in the disease, supporting them and when it is possible make them a smile. Inside the structures you can socialize, make educational and recreational activities, to be close to little brothers and sisters patients.

The contribution that volunteers provide is priceless, in 2014, in Italy, they donated 6,300 hours to the families. Worldwide, more than 305,000 volunteers donated each year 1,835,568 hours of service to support Ronald Houses and Family Room .

Giuliana a volunteer in Passoscuro Ronald house from February 15,2015,  says :”Being able to make people smile,  even the suffering, he has led me to become a volunteer , I don’t really know how to explain the happiness with little things and simple actions. During this period at Casa Ronald I met many children, that I have with me in my heart. There are two stories that  particularly impressed her: “Maxwell – she says – Kenyan child with various disabilities, but with an enviable tenacity, and Anna Maria,  a Bulgarian girl. I never spoke a single word with her , for a linguistic question, but I had an immediate and total agreement with her .What surprised me of my volunteer experience in the House is the strength of the children sick parents that it reverberates in a welcoming environment. Describe in one word what it means to be a volunteer? Smile”.

We are talking about sick children so it’s not a simple speech. Reliability and sharing of the values are required to each volunteer; to do this it only needs a few hours of free time per month and the desire to give oneself to others. Francis and Monica , Victor and John parents, tell :”A drop in the sea of indifference, an ocean of emotions, even in the darkest moments they gave us a smile. It was nice to be there with other families who lived our own reality … It allowed us to exchange ideas and to better accept our suffering. When suffering is calling you, it’s difficult to answer, to get away from work and from the things that it seems impossible to leave.We responded with great effort, but at the same time we have had very special people close to us”.

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