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Greater than a meal: San Francisco’s Charles Schwab donates catering companies to households with hospitalized kids

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The Ronald McDonald House charity in the Bay Area ensures parents can stay close to their hospital child without incurring hotel and meal costs. During the pandemic, their program was suspended until Charles Schwab, San Francisco’s financial services company, stepped in.

They hope that other companies will be inspired to do the same.

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Laura Boudreau, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, said ahead of COVID-19 they could serve up to 150 meals from her room at UCSF Mission Bay San Francisco and UCSF Oakland hospital.

“Every day we had volunteers and business groups helping us prepare meals, and families could sit down and enjoy a meal – a little rest in their day. But when COVID started we had to close our common room,” Boudreau said.

Boudreau said there was a break in church services but no break in teething. When Charles Schwab called in June, they were looking forward to a partnership.

“This is the time when people think about how we can help each other with this,” said Boudreau.

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Charles Schwab offered his catering service as nobody went to the office.

“We’ve actually served 3,000 meals since we started this partnership in June. It’s just amazing,” said Boudreau.

Jill Blanks and her family are from Fresno. Her 10 month old son Jensen is on the UCSF Mission Bay campus due to pulmonary hypertension, a long-term disease. Blanks said she was extremely grateful for all of the support.

“The fact that we are provided with all of these things that would have cost us so much along the way has really allowed us to be better parents and really focus on our child’s well-being,” said Blanks.

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She said lunch even brought some parents together. Spaces said it was more than just a meal.

“It not only nourishes our physical body, but also our soul, that’s why we’re just so grateful. We have learned that there are so many good people out there who want to take care of families who are going through a lot of trauma. We just have the feeling that it makes us feel the kindness that comes from the people in our community, “said Blanks.

Boudreau is unsure how long Schwab will be offering its services.

“We don’t know for sure, we really didn’t think it would take that long. We also didn’t think COVID would last that long. We’re just grateful for the time Charles Schwab was able to give us and you know “I think this is an exciting way for companies to get involved and we would love to see other companies get involved,” said Boudreau.

If your company would like to participate or make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, click here.

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