home away from home * gainesville, florida photographer

many of us (me included) equate Ronald McDonald with golden arches, happy meals and drive thrus. we forget that there is an actual Ronald McDonald house here in Gainesville open to families in need. and this special place has already helped over 28,000 families since 1982, who have come from all of Florida’s 68 counties, 46 other states and 34 foreign countries. all live outside of Alachua County and have a child 21 years or younger being treated medically in Gainesville. some families stay a night, while others may stay for months, depending on the nature of their child’s situation. families are asked for a $10 a night donation, but are not turned away if they cannot pay. i was invited to photograph some families who stayed at the house.  they came from all over, one even from indiana.  and i was touched and humbled by their stories.  they were all survivors with courageous spirits.  hopeful eyes.  and an overwhelming gratitude towards the house.  a place that provided comfort in an uncomfortable time.

here are some images of the children who were sick and their families who travelled to Gainesville to provide them the best medical care possible....

and if you're interested in helping out the house, here is a link on what you can do.

thanks for reading,

mikifoto by mallika malhotra

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