Superheroes take many forms, but around Bridgeworth – some of our best superheroes look like Bridgeworth staffers Aaron Casteel and Cole McClenney who both serve on the Junior Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA). Aaron has been involved for more than three years and and currently serves as Junior Board President. Cole has served on the Junior Board for two years. Aaron and Cole can often be found at RMHCA on Saturday mornings preparing and serving breakfast to the guest families – often dressed as their favorite superheroes.
Cole became involved with RMHCA because of Aaron’s involvement. Aaron became involved after a personal experience with RMHCA. According to Aaron, “RMHC has a special place in my heart because of close family friends that live in Colorado. Their youngest daughter was due in May but arrived in mid-February weighing at one pound. She was immediately put in the NICU at a hospital more than an hour away. Three older siblings, the mountains, and winter weather made for challenging logistics. The Ronald McDonald House in Grand Junction, Colorado made it possible for the family to be together and with their baby.”
The RMHCA cares for 41 guest families every night, providing them with a home away from home while their children receive medical treatment in Birmingham. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom with a private bathroom, families are surrounded with love and support from volunteers, staff, and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. The families are also provided home-cooked meals, programs and activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, computers, Wi-Fi, and much more so that they can concentrate on what is most important – their child’s health.
Aaron went on to explain, “In Birmingham, we have the unique opportunity to serve so many families around the world because of our highly rated medical facilities and specialties within Children’s Hospital of Alabama, UAB, and St. Vincent’s. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama touches families from around the state and around the world. Supporting the RMHCA means helping give families a place to stay, shower, and take a break, and be a family. All while being just blocks from the hospital.”
Aaron and Cole’s enthusiasm for the RMHCA has extended to the larger Bridgeworth family. Several members of Bridgeworth sponsored and/or attended the Red Shoe Run, the Red Stiletto Party, the Inaugural Sweet Home Brews at Railroad Park, the Red Trunk Riot, and in October, Bridgeworth prepared and served a meal for guest residents. Cole said it best, “I love to spend a Saturday morning cooking breakfast at the house, and seeing the direct impact that we can have on the children and their families. There is nothing that compares to making the children laugh and smile, because it might be the only bright spot in their day.”