Rod Oszust’s grandson was in his thoughts when he turned over the keys to a lease van for Central Alberta’s Ronald McDonald House on Thursday.
Two-year-old Lukas Oszust passed away from heart problems at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton in January 2014. In his short life, he faced numerous surgeries and long hospital stays.
Edmonton’s Ronald McDonald House became a home for the youngster’s family during his treatment.
“Until you experience it, you don’t know how important it is to people,” said Oszust, general sales manager with Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep.
“My heart goes out to everybody who is in Ronald McDonald House. They’re here for a reason.”
Oszust was at the Red Deer McDonald House on behalf of Southside Dodge on Thursday to donate a year’s lease worth $10,000 on a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan.
Oszust urged others to give any way they can, from making meals to other donations to help the charity to provide a home for those with children in hospital care.
“It’s important because one day you may, heaven forbid, need Ronald McDonald House.”
Rhanda Bonet-Graham, development manager at the house, said the lease donation will be a big help for the organization.
Travel, whether it’s to buy groceries or visit the other Ronald McDonald Houses in Calgary and Edmonton, is a significant expense.
“This administrative cost comes out of our overall budget. But with this vehicle being sponsored and given to the House to do House business we can now put that money right back into the programming.”
Red Deer’s Ronald McDonald House has 11 family suites, a communal kitchen, play areas, living room spaces and laundry facilities for families whose child is receiving medical care. The House’s family services staff provide a number of programs for all ages.