For Debra Murray, deciding what to do with her Pay It Forward Challenge money is simple. In March 2006, her 19-year-old daughter, Rebecca, spent almost a month in the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, recovering from surgery on a collapsed lung. The hospital was two hours away from Debra’s home, so she and her husband found temporary housing at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Nationwide, Ronald McDonald Houses host families of severely ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Debra is grateful for the kindness shown to her by the staff and wants to give back to the place that helped her. She finds that the Ronald McDonald House is in need of new blankets—the ones they have are in poor condition, and they must use twin blankets on full-size beds. With that as her mission, Debra uses her entire $1000 to purchase 47 new, warm blankets!
Debra welcomes the opportunity to help other families going through a difficult time. "I know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital for a long time," she says. "When we stayed there, the staff was so kind to us. I am so happy I got the chance to pay it forward!"