Instead of birthday presents this year, Brennan McMahan, 7, of Denton, asked his friends to bring donations for the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore to his party.
“I wanted to help the sick children,” Brennan says.
And his friends really got into the idea, says Brennan’s mom, Melanie.
“The kids wanted to go with their parents to buy the gifts,” she says. “It was very touching.”
Brennan’s party was at Easton Bowling Center in September, and the alley owners gave the family a special deal once they heard what Brennan was doing.
All told, Brennan received more than $1,500 in gift cards and supplies for patients and their families at the Baltimore charity, which houses families while their children are undergoing medical treatment in Baltimore area hospitals.
Brennan’s parents have a history with the Ronald McDonald house. They had planned to run the Disney Marathon before Melanie found out she was pregnant with Brennan, and the Ronald McDonald was their team’s charity of choice. As it turned out, Brennan was born two months premature and was in the hospital in Baltimore for several weeks. When the staff at Ronald McDonald heard that Brennan was in intensive care, they insisted Melanie and her husband stay there, she says.
“We had a room at a hotel but they wouldn’t hear of that,” Melanie says. “ They said, ‘You were helping us, we want to help you.’”
The family has been giving back to the Ronald McDonald House ever since, volunteering and donating when they can, Melanie says. When they delivered Brennan’s birthday gifts in October, Governor Larry Hogan happened to be there with his staff, serving dinner to the residents. Hogan took the time to congratulate Brennan on his humanitarian effort.
“It was exciting,” Brennan says. “He’s the boss of Maryland.”
By Betsy Stein
Click here to find out ways to donate and help others over the holidays.