SF's Charles Schwab donates catering services to Ronald McDonald House to help families in need

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area makes sure parents can stay close to their hospitalized child without incurring hotel costs and food costs. During the pandemic, their program was on pause, until Charles Schwab, San Francisco's financial services company stepped in.

They hope other companies get inspired to do the same.

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Laura Boudreau, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, said prior to COVID-19, they were able to provide up to 150 meals from their space inside the hospital at UCSF Mission Bay in San Francisco and UCSF Oakland.

"Everyday we had volunteers and corporate groups helping us prepare meals and families were able to sit down and enjoy a meal - get a little bit of respite in their day. But, when COVID started we had to close our community space," Boudreau said.

Boudreau said there was a pause on services, but there was no pause on childhood illness. So when Charles Schwab called in June, they were excited to partner up.

"This is the time when people are thinking about, 'how do we help each other through all of this?'" Boudreau said.

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Food Runners has been saving food destined for the compost bin and donating it to agencies serving people in need. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to change strategies in preparing meals it distributed to people unable to go to food kitchens.



Charles Schwab offered their catering services since no one was going into the office.

"We've actually been able to serve 3,000 meals since this partnership started in June. Which is just incredible," Boudreau said.

Jill Blanks and her family are from Fresno. Her 10-month-old son, Jensen, is at UCSF Mission Bay campus for pulmonary hyper tension, a long term illness. Blanks said she's beyond grateful for all the support.

"The fact that we're being provided all these things that would've cost us so much along the way has truly enabled us be better parents and just really be focused in on our child's welfare," Blanks said.

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She said getting lunch has even bonded some parents together. Blanks said it's more than just a meal.

"It not only feeds our physical bodies but it feeds our souls, so we're just so appreciative. We have learned that there are so many good people out there that want to take care of families that are going through a lot of trauma. We just feel like it gives us a sense of the kindness that comes from the people in our community," Blanks said.

Boudreau is unsure how long Schwab will lend their services for.

"We don't know exactly, we really didn't think even go this long. We also didn't think COVID would go this long so, we're just grateful for the time Charles Schwab has been able to give to 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 too," Boudreau said.

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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