Providing San Diegans the opportunity to double their impact, the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust is establishing a $500,000 matching gift and endowment to fuel Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s ‘More Than A Meal’ Campaign to transform its kitchens and dining room in order to better serve the families of hospitalized children.
Community donations to the ‘More Than A Meal’ Campaign will fund a full renovation of the current kitchens and dining room at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House. For every dollar donated to this vital project, a matching dollar will be allocated to the Joseph Clayes III Meal Program Endowment.
The charity provides a range of vital services – including lodging, education programs, emotional support and meals – to families who have a critically-ill or injured child being treated at San Diego-area hospitals. In addition to guests staying in the 55 overnight family suites at the House, any family member with a hospital-issued wristband is welcome to enjoy a cost-free meal, three times each day, every day of the year.
In 2013, The Clayes Charitable Trust’s inaugural gift to the House created the Joesph Clayes III Endowment Fund with a $3.5 million gift, providing a permanent, unrestricted source of funding for the House. Trulette Clayes and Brendan Holmes, co-trustees of the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust, were instrumental in creating this opportunity to grow the charity’s endowment, while also giving the community a chance to have a greater impact on the families who rely on the House’s many services. This most recent $500,000 contribution carries on the extraordinary legacy of transformational giving by the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust.
Chuck Day, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, said,
Providing families with a warm meal gives them the chance to reconnect with each other and recharge so they can continue to provide support for their hospitalized child. We are honored to receive this generous gift that will inspire folks to help our House nourish more than 14,000 family members a year, and will also add to our endowment funding, providing support well into the future.
Trulette Clayes, niece of philanthropist Joseph Clayes III, noted,
The kitchen and dining room are the heart of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House, and the centerpiece of The Joseph Clayes III Great Room, so I am certain my uncle would be pleased to play such a pivotal role in supporting these families through trying times. Families who spend time here receive more than just a meal, they are welcomed into a physical and emotional sanctuary, where they can care for themselves, so they can continue to provide strength for their child in the hospital.”
Joseph Clayes III was born and raised in Anaheim, California, and became a successful financial and real estate investor, and avocado rancher. He was a strong advocate for children’s health and welfare, which is what initially drew the trustees to Ronald McDonald House.
Brendan Holmes, Joseph Clayes’ longtime friend and business partner, observed,
Joseph was a firm believer that ‘if you have, then you should give,’ so it was important to us that in addition to continuing his philanthropic legacy through this additional endowment contribution, that we inspire others in the community to do so as well. We’re hopeful this matching gift will provide that inspiration.
RMHC-SD Board Chair Jennifer Harter, Jeff Partrick, Trulette Clayes, and RMHC-SD president & CEO Chuck Day are pictured in the photo at top.
More Than a Meal is campaign to renovate the much-used kitchens and dining room at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House, and to fund meals that keep families going in their time of crisis.
Nourishing Families and Lifting Spirits at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House
Doctor’s appointments, family needs, and financial worries make it difficult for parents with hospitalized children to rest or even find their next meal. To address this challenge, in 2009 we began offering meals, free of charge, to any family with a child in a local hospital – even those not staying overnight. Parents simply show their hospital identification for access to three meals, hot beverages, and snacks throughout the day.
Yet families get more than a plate of food when they come to the Ronald McDonald House. Our “home-away-from-home” environment gives them a place to rest and renew themselves with families facing similar challenges. Read a message from the Raymundo family
The Need to Grow
We’ve served more than a million meals since 2009. No one envisioned such demand; indeed, our commercial kitchen was not designed for its current heavy use and extensive recycling.
To expand meal service from our commercial kitchen, we’ve had to restrict access to residential cooking areas during mealtimes. Retrofitted dishwashing and recycling stations currently take up space in the residential kitchen, leaving little space for families who wish to cook their own meals.
We’ve built many fond memories in the red and taupe dining room of the Joseph Clayes III Great Room, which for the past nine years has served as the hub of meal service and volunteer-led activities, music, and entertainment. Renovations are needed to brighten this valuable space and create the best environment for families to gather and enjoy the next million meals.
Making Room for the Next Million Meals
We are now in the final planning stages of a major reconfiguration and renovation of our kitchens and dining room. The new layout will establish improved family cooking stations and new access to a large, well-stocked family refrigerator and pantry. A code-required wall will increase separation between our commercial and family kitchens.
Additional improvements include ventilation, lighting, counters, and flooring. The commercial kitchen will get a new floor plan with several new pieces of equipment, including walk-in refrigeration and a much-needed commercial-grade dishwasher and washing station. The more effective layout will also facilitate receiving and using available foods most efficiently, as we pursue increased food donations and further growth.
Construction begins in summer 2019. We’re seeking a total of $2.5 million for renovations, operations, and meals program endowment To learn more or find out about naming an important space at our House, please contact Beth van Eetveldt at 858.598.2435.