Share the Love: RMH-NY Spreads Valentine's Day Cheer


The Share the Love Wall

Share the Love Wall

Upon stepping into Ronald McDonald House New York this February, you can’t help but be enveloped in an air of warmth and affection. And if you can’t feel it in the air, then you are sure to find it on the walls of the 95-room Upper East Side House. And there is one wall tucked away in the back left corner of the lobby that reminds each of us that the best thing you can do with the love you’re feeling this season is share it.

The RMH-NY Share the Love Wall has become a staple in Ronald McDonald House New York’s annual month-long Valentine celebration. If you’ve never seen it, the Share the Love wall is a beautifully decorated oversized bulletin board upon which every child and family is encouraged to share.

Ronald McDonald House New York’s Share the Love wall serves as a canvas for expressions of love and appreciation from every child and family residing within our House.

At this heartwarming mini arts and crafts station next to the wall, guests are welcomed to pick up red, pink, and white paper hearts and pen down messages of love for their cherished ones. It’s a beautiful testament to the love and kindness that consistently moves throughout our community. Every heartfelt sentiment finds its place on the wall.

By February 14th, there’s never an empty spot on the Share the Love Wall.  Uniquely decorated multi-colored hearts with messages of hope and gratitude fill every inch because, at RMH-NY, love overflows, and this is the perfect way for you to embrace it, own it, and share it.

Maria being cupid

A History of Love

Ronald McDonald House New York’s community has been sharing fierce amounts of love since the day we opened our doors 45-years-ago and began serving families with children battling pediatric cancer. These families come seeking hope and refuge in our House while receiving world-class treatment at our many partnering hospitals across NYC.

The Share the Love Wall, however, was one of those magical gifts born from one of the craziest, scariest moments in our history: The COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Today Show

Our journey with the Share the Love Wall traces back to a very memorable moment on February 14th, 2019, when families from Ronald McDonald House New York graced the set of NBC’s The Today Show. In collaboration with the Share Love Now initiative, our families had the opportunity to share their love on a grand scale, pinning up messages of hope and gratitude on a massive corkboard in Rockefeller Center.

The project consisted of a 50-foot wide and three-foot-high piece of corkboard that stretched across The Today Show Plaza in Rockefeller Center. For the week leading up to Valentine’s Day in 2019, Share Love Now asked anyone and everyone that wanted to share a note about love they were feeling for someone or something to write that message on a paper heart and pin it up onto the giant corkboard full of heart-shaped valentines.

In the final hour of the show the entire team of hosts and the crew came outside in the cold February morning to welcome several families from RMH-NY. Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker offered our families valentines written by the cast and crew of The Today Show specifically for the RMH-NY children and allowed our kids a chance to pin up their own valentine to Share Love Now.

RMH-NY at The Today Show

Fast forward to 2020, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Share the Love Wall found a new home within our House. Despite the trying times, the spirit of love persevered, with families continuing to fill the wall with their messages of love year after year.

Love Knows No Boundaries

Valentine’s Day – Pre-COVID:


Before the pandemic altered our traditions, Valentine’s Day at RMH-NY was a festive affair. Families gathered for lavish dinners, sponsored by generous donors, with activities ranging from mocktail parties to hand painting sessions with roses. NBC’s Share Love Now initiative further amplified the celebration, bringing national attention to our cause.

Valentine’s Day Lockdown Style:

covid valentines at rmh-ny


During the height of the pandemic, our celebrations took on a different form, but the love remained unwavering. Thanks to the support of Bloomberg, families enjoyed gourmet meals from top-tier restaurants, followed by virtual gatherings filled with laughter and games. Despite physical distance, the bond of love brought us closer together than ever before.

Presenting: Valentine’s Day 2024

valentines day

valentines day at the House

Share the Love Continues


This Valentine’s Day, love takes center stage once again at Ronald McDonald House New York. Annually sponsored by Bloomberg (who also sponsors the incredibly festive and delicious Thanksgiving meal the House enjoyed last year), families will indulge in a lavish dinner crafted by RCANO. Following the feast, our beloved Therapy Dog Program presents the first-ever Ronald McDonald House New York Therapy Dog Fashion and Talent Show.

Paws and Applause:

puppy valentines

 

Nine adorable pups, including Luna, the resident therapy dog from Ronald McDonald Family Room/Elmhurst, will strut their stuff on the runway, displaying their talents and best looks to the delight of our young guests. With volunteer DJ Pola spinning infectious beats, the evening promises to be one filled with joy and laughter.

Sweet Surprises:


Adding to the sweetness of the evening, custom-made chocolates and chocolate-covered strawberries from Brooklyn Dipp’d and so many more delicious treats await our guests, courtesy of dedicated volunteers, hard-working staff, and holiday sponsors. The ambiance is further elevated by stunning floral arrangements donated by Starbright, creating a picturesque setting for our festivities.


Love in Every Moment

As we come together to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Ronald McDonald House New York, let us be reminded of the power of love to uplift, inspire, and unite us. In every heartfelt message on the Share the Love Wall and in every wag of a therapy dog’s tail, we find hope and comfort amidst life’s challenges. Here’s to a day filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories.

Valentine's Day 2024 Photo Gallery

 puppies and volunteers in costume

bloomberg at flower arranging and waving

 

 

girls chatting prior to the runway show

golden retriever looking at camera with mom

 

volunteers pose

 

doggy plays music for talent

 

 

chocolate fountain bloomberg

loving ther puppies

 

playing with the doggy's nose

 

 

 

MC Polly and Maria

 

Additional Facts and Details to know:

  • The Share the Love Wall initiative originated from a segment on NBC’s The Today Show that aired on February 14th, 2019.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the resurrection of the Share the Love Wall at Ronald McDonald House New York in 2020.
  • During the pandemic, Bloomberg sponsored gourmet meals for families and organized virtual activities like Valentine’s Day Bingo and dance parties.
  • Broadway actor and dance captain, Polly Baird, known best for her decades-long work in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, will MC the proceedings.
  • The Therapy Dog Fashion/Talent Show features nine adorable dogs: Bailey, Lucky, Hali, Oscar, Melody, Cody, Rickie, Lucky, with Luna traveling the furthest to participate.
  • New York Therapy Animals Executive Director Nancy George-Michaelson, an RMH-NY therapy dog volunteer since 2005, runs the training program where Ronald McDonald Therapy Dog Program sources all the House’s therapy dogs that come weekly to brighten the days of all the children and families.
  • Ronald McDonald Therapy Dog Program is led by Maria from the Volunteers Team. The program not only brings us all the doggy happenings in the House throughout the year but also sponsors one lunch a month for all our families thanks to the generosity of longtime donor, The Bruce Geary Foundation.
  • Ronald McDonald Family Room Kings County has a special Valentine's Day massage treat and a gift bag giveaway with lots of Valentine's Day love in them for all of the families in Brooklyn.
  • Floral arrangements for the event are courtesy of Starbright’s incredibly gifted team of artists and longtime supporter of RMH-NY.
  • The Ronald McDonald Family Room at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s community health team and volunteer Donna created beautiful origami bouquets to hand out to NICU moms for Valentine’s Day this year. The team at the Elmhurst family room is also collecting baby footprints, creating beautiful framing for them, and giving those out to parents as a wonderful keepsake from the baby’s first Valentine’s Day.

elmhurst valentine's

Remember there are so many ways to share love this February and throughout the year. Find the way that you express it the best and then use that expression to show the folks you care about most how much they mean to you.

 

The Share the Love Wall Photo Gallery

Share the Love Wall heart message

funny share the love post

 share the love

stuff

flower post on share the love wall

 

share the love wall post

You still have time to write a note to our families on our Share the Love Wall. Send that note to us, and our Volunteer team will post it for you today! Click here to share the love.

 


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