Painted with Love for Ronald McDonald House Durham / by Kristin Gibson

A favorite project this summer has been painting and adding colorful thoughts to a new addition for the Ronald McDonald House Family Room in Duke Children's Hospital. A local Eagle Scout named Michael designed and built a beautiful coffee cart that will bring comfort and warm wishes in the form of hot coffee to the families in pediatric and neo-natal intensive care. I had the pleasure to meet this wonderfully industrious high school student and his parents when they delivered the cart to the House in Durham. The next step was painting, and I was truly honored when asked to lend my brushwork, to be able to give back a little more to this amazing place.

Most of all I wanted to complement the outstanding job Michael had done and project a cheerful uplifting presence. Ahead of my thought process I had the opportunity to see with Chris Ruggeri, RMH Duke Family Room manager, the pediatric units and the Family Room where the cart would be rolled and shared room to room. I know how it feels to stay in the House and be in other areas of Duke Hospital for the care of my daughter, but walking through these ICU units with tiny miracles and warriors behind each door, certainly has stayed with me and wove it's way into what emerged for the cart. 

I added windows and words and shapes that would become my canvas. A perspective of looking out at the sky and clouds and birds from within. Walking through Duke Gardens, hearing the birds, seeing blooms emerge, and thinking about clouds and circumstances changing moment to moment, were sources of Hope, and renewed energy that sustained me during my family's time at RMHD. I hope this rolling cart built and painted with love, will bring a bit of heartfelt cheer and support and smiles to all who may need a little of each, in that moment it comes by. Thank you for letting me share. Kristin

To learn more about the RMHD Duke Family Room visit: