The Ronald McDonald House Charity appeal for people to “send a hug” to loved ones in time for National Hug Day, Sunday the 21st of January.
Barróg, the Irish for Hug, is the teddy bunny that is sharing hugs across the country in aid of families with sick children.
Every person who sends a Barróg in time for National Hug Day will be entered into a competition to WIN A HOLIDAY worth €5,000.
The Ronald McDonald House, with the help of baby Sophie Mulligan from Limerick, has launched their appeal for people to give a hug that gives back this January. To mark National Hug Day 2024 the charity is asking people to send Barróg, the Irish for hug, to someone special in their life and support families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. All proceeds from the purchase of Barróg go directly to the families staying at The Ronald McDonald House. On top of this, every person who sends a hug in time for Hug Day will be entered into a competition to win a holiday worth €5,000.
The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring, supportive environment for families whose children are long-term patients at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Ireland’s largest pediatric hospital. The Ronald McDonald House enables families, including siblings, to stay together and be actively involved in their children’s day-to-day life while they are in hospital. Since opening 20 years ago it has been home to over 5,000 families from across the country. The charity provides over 12,000 meals a year to these families along with peace of mind and a place to be together.
Joe Kenny, the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Ireland, believes that family is medicine and that being together, being close, and hugs are crucial for a child's road to recovery. “The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for 20 families with children in hospital every night. As you can imagine a lot of hugs happen under our roof. Sometimes they’re hugs of joy and celebration, other times they can be hugs of compassion and comfort, but always there's hugs of hope for better days to come. Sending a Barróg hug in time for National Hug Day is a great way to get behind our families while letting someone special in your own life know that you're thinking of them.”
Calling on everyone to share a big Barróg hug to loved ones is Baby Sophie Mulligan and her family from Athea, Co. Limerick. Sophie was born in August 2022 and has spent every day since then as an inpatient in Crumlin Hospital. Apart from one 2-day visit home, Sophie and her parents, Melissa and Alan, have been living in The Ronald McDonald House. On Tuesday the 16th of January they are finally leaving hospital and The Ronald McDonald House for Limerick after a 513 day stay. They will be celebrating National Hug Day from their own home.
Sophie’s Mother, Melissa, said about the charity and campaign: “The Ronald McDonald House has been “home” for our family since Sophie came into our lives in August 2022. It’s hard to describe how one House can mean so much to you, but when you are faced with over 500 days in a hospital that is 250km from home you soon come to realise the importance of a place like The Ronald McDonald House. The House allowed us to put all of our focus on Sophie and alleviated worries like; where we were going to stay each night, where our next meal was coming from, how were we going to afford this. The list goes on and on. Having a base that was only a few minutes from Sophie’s hospital bed provided us with peace of mind that was priceless.
We couldn’t have gotten through the 513 days in hospital without the love and support we had from the staff and other families at the House. No two days are the same when you have a child in hospital and our Ronald McDonald House family were always there to celebrate the good days and comfort us through the bad.
Sophie being the face of National Hug Day this year feels like a real celebration. After such a long journey we’re finally going home, and we get to share that joy across the nation through thousands of Barróg hugs and the chance to win a holiday.’’
Send a Hug, Win a Holiday
To send someone special a big Barróg hug, visit www.rmhc.ie. Each Barróg gift set, including a Barróg bunny, personalised gift card and gift, can be purchased for a special price of €10 ex p&p.
Each person who sends a hug will have the chance to win a holiday worth €5,000. The winner will be announced on Monday the 22nd of January.
All proceeds from the purchase of Barróg go directly to supporting the families of sick children staying at The Ronald McDonald House.
About The Ronald McDonald House
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities Ireland is to provide a Ronald McDonald House to support families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring, supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and hospitalised at CHI at Crumlin.
Through committed staff, caring volunteers and generous donors Ronald McDonald House Ireland aim to provide a safe environment for families so they can stay together and be actively involved in their children’s day to day life while they are long term in hospital.
The current Ronald McDonald House sits onsite at CHI at Crumlin. It houses 20 families a night from across the island of Ireland. Since opening 20 years ago it has housed over 5,000 families from across the country. The current Ronald McDonald House on average provides over 12,000 meals a year to these families.
The new Ronald McDonald House is being built onsite at The New Children’s Hospital in Rialto. The House will provide direct, immediate and easy access to the Hospital. The House will have 52 fully equipped bedrooms which can cater for families of every size. The House will have intimate living areas to protect the privacy of family life. It is set to open in Q4 2025.
Registered Charity No: CHY12553 | CRA No: 20037000