FishHawk resident Molly Zurlage recruited her family and friends to make care packages for the Ronald McDonald House last month.

By Ariana Pedraza

A group of local residents took time this summer to help those less fortunate.

The Ronald McDonald House (RMDH) was founded in 1974 with the mission to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Since then, the group has assisted millions of families around the world with pediatric medical expenses like housing and food, but none of it would be possible without donations and volunteers.

Due to the pandemic, the Ronald McDonald House closed its doors to volunteers in efforts to keep their residents safe. Because the organization houses pediatric patients and their families, volunteers have not yet been allowed to help on-site. However, this did not stop a family of FishHawk residents from doing what they could.

Molly Zurlage, a FishHawk resident, began volunteering at the RMDH as a child with her grandmother. At the House, she would make chocolate chip cookies, and sometimes even the residents would join in to have fun and help.

“I remember feeling really good seeing the happiness and joy just cookies could bring,” Molly reminisced. “I really enjoyed being able to give back.”

She continued all the way up through college, and now has three kids of her own whom she wants to get involved in community service. Her experience with the RMDH led her to call the organization to see what they could do, but they were not allowed to enter their buildings. Determined to help in any way they could, the Zurlages found that they could make care packages from home and deliver them.

These care packages will include snacks and hygiene products and the goal is to make 150 of each. Hoping to meet this goal, Molly enlisted the help of friends, asking for donations and inviting them to make them with her and her children, who attend Bevis Elementary and Randall Middle Schools.

Grayson, her 11-year-old son, explained, “I am excited to do it and I hope we meet our goal. Hopefully, we can make the residents smile.”

To help the RMDH, please visit There you will find a donation button and other ways you can get involved.

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