With the inaugural BCS Friday Night Lights sitting just under 30 days out, things are ramping up nicely. Many competing athletes have shared big wins from training or aspects of the comp. readying process that ensure they are positioned to put their best foot forward. This energetic build indicates one thing: a storm is coming.
However, as things escalate in the final stretch leading up to game time, it’s worth thinking about what participating in BCS means, beyond competitive consideration. Since the beginning, BCS has been a story about more than elite fitness. At the core of its purpose lives service, giving back to a deserving community. From 2019, onward, this community has notably given back to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. In the spirit of community that sets BCS apart, this is their story—including the part you play in it.
Keeping Family Close
Within the walls of a quaint Philadelphia home, the first Ronald McDonald House began operations. The year was 1974. 10 years later, the charity put down roots in Central Texas, to begin providing lodging and services to families with critically ill children undergoing hospital treatment—keeping family close by. The charge, although novel back then and timeless today, was simple. Serve people in their time of great need, for as long as they need.
Throughout its evolution and growth, Ronald McDonald House Charities founded core programs and offerings that bring ease to the heavy and laden. Modeled in the likeness of the houses themselves, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms grant parents and families places to rest more comfortably without leaving the hospital at all. Happy Wheels Carts make rounds on hospital floors and are stocked with supplies, snacks, and other essentials parents and families might need while sitting at their child’s bedside
Honoring the intention to serve families facing difficult circumstances, these additional offerings bring light into the same corridors that, at times, seem unforgettably despairing.
Where the outcome to seeking treatment turns inexplicable, RMHC provides various forms of assistance. This support actualizes through the HOPE Support Group, a free 6-week bereavement counseling and burial assistance for families who have lost a child to serious illness or injury, at no cost. In addition, to preserve the memory of the child, any family who has stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, in a Ronald McDonald Family Room, or participated in a support group can have an engraved river rock placed in the Ronald McDonald memory gardens if they wish. Once placed, families can visit at any time.
The Good Community Can Do
The relationship between RMHC CTX and BCS is obviously incredibly special. In preparing for this post, Tanner Williams, Head of Development for the Brazos Valley wing of RMHC of Central Texas, shared more about the impact that has resulted from this relationship. At the conclusion of the 2022 BCS Classic, together, through your support and athletes like you, the BCS Classic will have donated more than $90,000 collectively to help fund the 4 programs mentioned earlier. The math shakes out to over $20,000 given annually.
But, as you can imagine, RMHC CTX addresses a need that is ever present. In addition to giving financially, it relies heavily on volunteers to facilitate their program offerings, like pushing Happy Wheels Carts. If you are in Bryan-College Station or the Austin area, consider volunteering. Additionally, you can donate items to stock a Happy Wheels Cart or host an online fundraiser, where, like BCS, the proceeds will go to directly support serving families in their time of need, for as long as they need.
To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas and ways to get involved, visit https://rmhc-ctx.org/.