Creativity Shining Through
Thirty-One Gifts and their family of consultants provided over 150,000 Thirty-One Bags to welcome families to Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the USA and Canada, in addition to financial contributions and volunteer support to Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.
I recently sat down with Kimberly Trent, and Independent Director for Thirty-One Gifts to talk about their local and national partnership with RMHC. Her group got involved with RMHC-Madison in the spring of 2014 and has no plans to end the partnership.
The Madison Ronald McDonald House has been the beneficiaries of their generosity in so many ways. They provide the meal for the House as “Guest Chefs” on the 31st of each month, they donate “wish list” items, and when they are at the House they look around to see what else they can provide. They also hosted a Ladies Night Out “Paint Night” with all the proceeds going to the RMHC-Madison.
When asked why she got involved and does so much for the House, Kimberly said, “I am a true believer in volunteering. I love it and it holds a priority in my life. Thirty-One Gifts has a foundation called Thirty-One Gives. They have partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities on a national level and I and some other independent consultants in the area wanted to get involved at the local level as well. The camaraderie when we are at the House is so rewarding and we know we’ve been called to continue to do this.
I’ve learned the meal we provide is so important to the families. And it isn’t just the food. A few times we’ve been asked by guests staying at the House if they could help us make the meal. Something to take their mind off what they are dealing with – a sense of normalcy. Those are probably the most touching moments for me.”
Kimberly shares the story of her partnership with RMHC-Madison on a local level as well as how Thirty-One Gives partners with RMHC on a national level at her events and often has people donate financially. Sometimes it’s rounding their order up to the next whole dollar, other times they will donate a specific dollar amount to Thirty-One Gives.
When asked if she had any advice to share with others interested in volunteering or getting involved, she said, “Just do it! Giving back in your community is a good thing. It was scary when I first committed to providing a meal on the 31st of each month. Being a small business based on selling bags, I thought: What if I don’t get enough help? Will I be doing this on my own? Never has that happened. I keep it simple. Though we do like to get creative from time to time. Halloween is a fun time for us to let our creative side shine through.”
Thirty-One Gives (a foundation of Thirty-One Gifts) designates funds to the Ronald McDonald House programs around the country. Since 2013, families have received over 450,000 welcome bags at Houses. There financial support to RMHC has provided 8,660 family nights.