Gift assortment of snacks and games

The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan donates comfort bags and food to Sparrow Children’s Center

LANSING, Mich. — The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan is donating comfort bags and food to pediatric patient families and hospital workers at the Sparrow Health System Children's Center. The bags include personal hygiene items, individually packed snacks, puzzles, games and $25 McDonald’s gift cards generously donated by local McDonald’s owner/operators Brandon VanPoppelen and Shawn Saputo.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, families with sick children are restricted to their child’s hospital rooms to limit opportunities for viral exposure. The House continues its work to support families while redefining the logistics of support to keep patient families and frontline medical workers safe from COVID-19. 

“Even during ‘normal’ times, families experience a full range of emotions and anxiousness while their child is hospitalized. COVID-19 has only added to their stress and worry,” said Carolyn Hurst, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan. “We've observed that all families at the Sparrow Children's Center could use our support, and we feel grateful to have the mid-Michigan community behind us as we provide supplies to these families.” 

The House is accepting monetary donations and products with the goal of providing a bag to every family of a hospitalized child during this time of necessary restrictions. Cash donations are accepted at and the following items can be shipped to or dropped off at the House: 

  • Travel size personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, hand sanitizer, chapstick, hand lotion and deodorant.
  • Individually packaged snacks/grab-and-go snacks such as granola bars, crackers, chips, popcorn, muffins, cereal, etc.
  • Puzzle books, word searches, crossword or sudoku puzzles.
  • Gum, mints, note pads, packs of tissues, makeup remover wipes, nail files and  reusable water bottles.
  • Anything on the House’s Amazon wish list.

“We’re asking members of the community to help us adapt how we serve families and the medical community,” Hurst said. “We all need to rethink how we keep them close while keeping them safe in the coming days, weeks and months of this evolving crisis, how we deploy new tools and new ways of helping families connect, how we care for families unable to come to the House physically because of what’s happening and how we might be a help to our medical community during this time.”

In addition to the donation of $25 McDonald’s gift cards, VanPoppelen and Saputo are helping the House donate muffins, cookies, bagels and cinnamon rolls. Over the next several weeks, the House will provide these items to support everyone that cares for pediatric patients — hospital staff included. 

“We know that well-rested, fed and cared-for parents and caregivers support the medical treatment process for every child,” said Hurst. “These donations make grabbing a bite to eat easier and allows them to keep their focus on what's most important: caring for ill children.”

Restaurant carry out is another great way to support families and caregivers. If donors are interested in donating a meal to Sparrow’s Children's Center, please contact the House directly at or (517) 485-9303. House staff will help facilitate the carry out and route it safely through the hospital's food service team.

For more information about the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan, visit

The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan keeps families with sick children together and close to the care and resources they need. It has served thousands of families by providing them a warm and caring home-away-from-home where they can have home-cooked meals, a place for siblings to play and a comfortable place to sleep near the hospital room where they spend countless hours with an ill child.