Ronald McDonald Houses offer a home away from home – providing care, compassion and hope to families with seriously ill children being treated in hospitals near the House.
With approximately 78,000 square feet, Ronald McDonald House Dallas (RMHD) offers 77 private bedrooms, six extended-stay suites, and six transplant apartments. Additionally, the House contains multiple playrooms for kids of all ages and interests, a library, media room, craft room, chapel, meditation garden, and outdoor play areas. Two large communal kitchens and a dining room provide opportunities for the families to share the evening meal, which is provided three times a day by community volunteers, or to prepare their own food if they choose. Hundreds of volunteers support RMHD’s annual operations and fundraising activities by serving families at the House, preparing meals, and hosting organized activities.
I love what they are doing there for the families who are going through an intensely difficult time, and was looking for a way to help them raise funds to support their mission. So, I took a trip to their location to look around the House to see if could find anything “fine art-worthy.” I did. RMHD had commissioned Carlyn Ray to create an art installation (titled “Butterfly Migration”) of glass butterflies in their stairwell and I thought it would be nice to create art from that.
When I left the House after the shoot, I was convinced I was going to have to tell them that I had failed to produce something “art worthy.” But once I got the images into the computer, I could see that what I captured was well beyond what I thought I had. There are some pieces that feel light, inspirational, full of hope and promise – and there are others that are more moody, darker, with a smoldering glowing butterfly or two. I wanted to represent both sides of the experience of the families living there. They surely go from light to dark moments throughout their difficult journey, probably sometimes daily. But even in their darkest moments surely there exists a glowing glimmer of hope. The people at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas provide that.
I could see the metaphor once I saw the images, and now I am extremely proud of this series. Not only am I proud of the art, but I’m equally proud of the fact that I am afforded the opportunity to partner with such a great organization that is truly making a measurable difference in a world that sometimes seems increasingly devoid of that.
A special thank you to Carlyn Ray for providing the inspiration for these pieces, and RMHD for access to their grounds.
20% of the profit from the sale of these photos will go directly to further the mission of RMHD.