AUSTIN (KXAN) — This Christmas, Ronald McDonald House families will step into Santa’s Workshop. Thirty families will be spending the holidays at the house, so they can stay close to their hospitalized children. Thanks to the community, Santa’s Workshop will be coming to them.
“It’s fun to watch his eyes light up like he’s in a toy aisle at the store,” said Sara Dawalt.
Her son Wesley was born at 25 weeks. He’s been at St. David’s since Sept. 26, and the family has been staying at the Ronald McDonald house since Oct.1. On Christmas Eve, she took her 4-year-old son, Michael, to the workshop.
“My favorite part is to open my presents I got from Santa and my mom and dad!” says Michael.
Families like the Dawalts can’t be home for Christmas, so Christmas comes to them. The workshop makes the hard times a little easier.
“It’s really amazing,” said mother Carolyn Kimbley. “We’re really strapped this year because we haven’t been able to work for a while. So it’s really a blessing.”
Santa had a little help with the gifts. Community members donated hundreds of toys, and volunteers donated countless hours to help make it a reality.
“She just looked at us and said I need to get holiday decorations,” remembers Carolyn Schwarz, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. “We just were able to look at her and say we’ve got you taken care of. We’re going to be here for you for Christmas and beyond.”
“Christmas isn’t going to be at home this year but we’re still together,” said Dawalt.
This holiday season the Ronald McDonal house is helping 30 families. Year-round, they help thousands of people across Central Texas.
The organization is always in need of donations. They have a list of items on their website.