Helping Mommy and Ella

February 15, 2017
RMHC Toronto is near and dear to William's heart
William Carr holding a thank you certificate


At just five years old, William Carr is already learning the power of philanthropy. This month, he delivered a donation of $48 – in toonies – to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto, an organization that helped his mom and little sister.

William’s mom, Jacquelyn, gave birth to her third child, Ella, on Nov. 15, 2016 at Credit Valley Hospital. Immediately following the birth, Jacquelyn could tell that something was wrong.

“They told me she needed to be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) right away,” says Jacquelyn. “I was so worried and wondered what would happen when I was discharged the next day. There was no way I was leaving my baby.”

Jacquelyn’s nurses told her she could use the sleep rooms in the RMHC Toronto Family Room, located just steps away from Ella’s bedside in the NICU. Though she’d never heard of a Family Room before, Jacquelyn quickly discovered its value.

“The Family Room offered me such relief,” she says. “I couldn’t leave Ella, so if it wasn’t for the sleep room, I would’ve been sleeping in a chair in her hospital room for four nights. Instead, I could get some rest in a comfortable bed and be close by when she needed to be fed.”

Ella was treated for her dangerously low blood sugar and released from the hospital after four days. Her health has greatly improved and she’s growing into a chubby, happy baby.

The Carr family

Fast forward to January 2016. Jacquelyn and her husband, Bret, were planning William’s 5th birthday party and asked William what he wanted for a present.

“He told us that Santa had just brought him everything he needed, so we suggested to him that instead of presents, perhaps he could pick a charity for his friends to donate to.”

William agreed. His parents told him about a few different charities and why they are important to their family. William chose RMHC Toronto “because they helped Mommy and Ella.”

William’s friends each brought a toonie to his party, raising $48. He brought his collection to the House in downtown Toronto and received a personal tour of the facilities. He was amazed.

“I think William really understands what RMHC Toronto does now,” says his mom. “He thinks it’s such a fun place, but understands that he doesn’t want to stay there. He’s even changed his career goal. He has always wanted to be a marine biologist, but now he says he wants to be a doctor to help all of the kids at Ronald McDonald House.”

Now that he knows how great it feels to give back, William wants to keep it up.

“In the car on the way home from RMHC Toronto, William asked, ‘What can I do to help people next?’ We heard about the new RECESS event in April, so that will be another fun way for our family to give back to an organization that gave so much to us.”

Join the Carr family at RECESS, a new family-friendly event on Sunday, April 2 at the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

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