Thanks to the amazing people at RMHC (CNI Branch), our team was given the opportunity, on August 17th, 2019, to host a "back to school" party for the children and families staying at the house in downtown Chicago.
Our initial goal during the visit, was to bring a positive atmosphere to an inherently unfortunate circumstance. The “Balloons” mantra has always been to tap into the good memories and moments from our childhood and bring that energy full circle, as an adult— in other words, to pursue today’s dreams with childhood tenacity and contentment.
We wanted to help make a difference in the lives of those who might be experiencing early challenges and we were fortunate enough to sit down with Jack Gilhooly from the Ronald McDonald House Charities and share with each other our individual objectives. It was immediately apparent that our visions aligned and together, we could truly make a positive impact.
If you’re not familiar with the Ronald McDonald House, they house families of sick children so that they may live closer to the hospital, and receive their treatments as easily as possible. Their goal is keeping families together, inspiring strength, and giving comfort and support to families whose children are receiving essential medical care.
While we were there, we toured the facility. We learned how it operates and how they help relieve the families of their financial and emotional burdens. We learned how many families a year come in and out of the doors searching for help at such a critical time in their lives. But most importantly, we learned that “love conquers all”.
There were quite a few moving parts to our Back to School Party, including live music, magicians, face-painting, book readings, puppets, arts & crafts, etc. But the focal point of the event was a 4x4 canvas for the kids to color whatever they wanted.
What you see is the raw image of the artwork made that day. The most impressive part of it all, is how positive energy just seemingly bursts out of every stroke.
Smiley faces, rainbows, so many suns, “Red and Yellow man” with big old smiles, a sideways apple tree, sunflowers, hearts and stars, and a beautiful blue sky with just the right amount of clouds. This piece was colored by these children, for these children.
What we offered that day was so simple—And that was the beauty behind it all. We knew we were making an attempt to bring happiness to these families, but what we found was so much more. There were so many smiles both children and parents; there were tears of happiness and laughter filled the room. For a brief moment, we were able to pull these people away from their current situations and into our world.
We cannot emphasize enough how much this project meant to our team.
100% of profits will be donated directly back to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, to help provide for the families and children residing at their facility.