3 unique connections to the Ronald McDonald House + why you should join the Red Shoe Run, April 9

Sponsored

Parchman family at the Red Shoe Run benefitting the Ronald McDonald House
The Parchman family has one sweet reason to run—their daughter, Chloe Belle. (Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama)

Looking for a way to give back to an amazing local nonprofit and get active this spring? Get ready for the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K presented by McDonald’s, the annual run benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA). Find out why the Red Shoe Run holds a special place in the hearts of three separate families, then sign up today.

RMHCA
An amazing way to give back. (Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama)

For the Parchman family, the Red Shoe Run is a chance to walk for Chloe Belle 🌟

RMHCA Red Shoe Run
The Parchman family crossing the finishing line. (Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama)

In 2016, the Parchman family’s lives changed forever after a routine checkup for their newborn daughter Chloe Belle. At the checkup, her heart went into superventrical tachycardia (an erratic heartbeat) and the family was rushed to Children’s of Alabama.

At just two weeks old, Chloe Belle needed to have open-heart surgery. While she stayed in the hospital for two weeks, her parents, Billy and Michelle Parchman, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House so they wouldn’t have to make the drive to Tuscaloosa and could be near their daughter at a moment’s notice.

“After a couple of days of getting her settled in and stabilized, we were able to get a room at the Ronald McDonald House which was such a blessing. We were able to be as close as possible to Chloe without actually staying in her hospital room. I could be there for rounds and any updates throughout the day, but then also have a real bed to sleep in at night and a place to shower and unwind. We were only there for 11 days while she had open heart surgery and recovered, but when your child is critically ill, every day seems like a lifetime. I will always be grateful for access to the Ronald McDonald House.”

Michelle Parchman

Thankfully, Chloe Belle is healthy and happy now, and her family gives back every year to the nonprofit that did so much for them by serving as an ambassador family for the Red Shoe Run. In 2021, their team was the top family fundraising team.

This year, Chloe Belle turns six two days before the race. Supporting the Parchmans’ team, Galaxy Walkers for Chloe Belle, is the perfect birthday gift!

Michelle, Billy, Chloe and Lilly Parchman
The Parchman family now—happy and healthy! (Billy and Michelle Parchman)

Meet Charlene Bailey, a local realtor with a personal connection to RMHCA ❤️

Charlene Bailey
Charlene and her team. (Charlene Bailey)

Local realtor, Charlene Bailey, and her team, The Charlene Bailey Team with eXp Realty are participating in the Red Shoe Run. Of course, anyone can volunteer without having a personal connection, but Charlene had an experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities that makes her participation even more poignant.

“Back in 1995, my son was involved in a car accident and had a traumatic brain injury. At that time, they didn’t have a pediatric facility, so we chose to go to Atlanta, Georgia for his medical care. I ended up staying in a Ronald McDonald House.”

Charlene Bailey, Owner, The Charlene Bailey Team

Charlene’s son is a healthy 34-year old now, but that time in the hospital and the Ronald McDonald House showed Charlene just how important it is to have a support system in times of crisis. She still keeps up with one of the families she met at the time!

“There are so many families out there with sick babies. It doesn’t matter how old your baby is—it’s your baby. Your baby could be 17 or 18, but it’s your baby. If you have a sick child and you need somewhere to stay, it doesn’t stop the expenses from coming.

To have the security of a home-feeling environment where you don’t have to worry about meals is a blessing.”

Charlene Bailey, Owner, The Charlene Bailey Team

Alongside Charlene, her team will be participating in the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K on Saturday, April 9. Before working with Charlene, Kai’Onna, her assistant, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in high school by reading to the kids and helping to clean up. Now that she’s working with Charlene, she has another chance to give back to Ronald McDonald House Charities! Supporting The Charlene Bailey Team is easy—just sign up.

Sign up to join the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K presented by McDonald’s today. Prices increase on March 31, so be sure to register now.

Stephanie began as a volunteer—now, she helps coordinate the Red Shoe Run 👟

RMHCA
Meet Stephanie, one of the people making the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K happen. (Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama)

Stephanie’s first introduction to RMHCA was through her sorority’s philanthropy efforts. She recognized the important work that RMHCA does to keep families close when they need it most, and when she moved to Birmingham two years ago, she decided to give her time as a volunteer.

Luckily for her, a position to serve as the community outreach manager opened up. Stephanie’s passion for the mission made her the perfect fit, and now she manages special events like the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K presented by McDonald’s.

“It didn’t matter what kind of day you had—going to serve the families always turned it around. It brought joy to my life and I know what I was doing for the families brought joys to theirs. Through a stressful time, having a meal and gathering around the table eating creates a support system for guest families and they are able to lean on each other.”

Stephanie Duncan, Community Outreach Manager, RMHCA

Sign up for the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K today 🏅

Michelle and Chloe Parchman
Who will win this year’s Red Shoe Run? (Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama)

When you sign up to run in the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K presented by McDonald’s or donate to RMHCA, you’re helping families like the Parchmans and the Baileys find a comfortable place to stay while their children are in the hospital. Your donation means that they don’t have to pay for this necessary housing, and it even helps RMHCA expand to serve more families.

“The Red Shoe Run is a huge fundraiser for the house. We’re in our 18th year of the event, and each year it raises about $90,000 for our mission. By participating in this run, it helps keep our services free for families and it’s a great opportunity to see our mission in action and see what the Ronald McDonald House does for the community here in Birmingham, but also for Alabama as a whole.”

Stephanie Duncan, Community Outreach Manager, RMHCA

This year, the run will start in downtown Birmingham and will finish close to the Ronald McDonald House. Along with the run, you can enjoy a fun zone for kids, food trucks and music.

“I pray that people never will have a reason to need RMHCA, but for the families that are going through these medical issues, it really is a huge burden lifted. I feel like being involved with the Red Shoe Run is a very tangible way to help families in their time of need. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and can vouch for the organization. 

Anything to help families stay together during difficult seasons of life is a worthy cause.”

Michelle Parchman

Ready to run? Sign up for the Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K today, and be sure to follow RMHCA on Facebook, Instagram and their website for updates.

Sponsored by:

Cecilia Wood
Cecilia Wood
Articles: 345