On September 23, 1992 Dylon Griffith was born to James (Jamie) and Kim Griffith and it wasn’t long before Doctor’s realized that Dylon was in for a fight. He had been born with life threatening lung and heart problems and was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Columbus about an hour away from the town of Marion, Ohio where the Griffith family lived.
Dillon spent most of the next year and a half in Children’s Hospital on life support. Jamie and Kim somehow managed to take turns being by their Son’s side while still working full time to support the rest of their young family at home. It was during this extremely difficult time that Jamie and Kim found the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.
The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) is right across the street from Children’s Hospital in Columbus and provides a home away from home for the families of seriously ill children. It is supported by assistance from the McDonald’s Corporation as well as Private Donations. Over the next year and a half during Dylon’s stay in the Hospital, RMH provided Jamie and Kim with a free Room to rest whenever they needed it. It was a long haul and, according to Jamie, the most difficult time of the Griffith’s lives.
Fortunately, Dylon mostly recovered but Jamie and Kim never forgot the generosity of the Ronald McDonald House. Jamie says with a tear in his eye “there is no way that we could have ever made it through that time without the Ronald McDonald House”. He said that the RMH Manager, knowing that the Griffith’s were driving the hour commute to work daily, even arranged to give them Gas Cards to somewhat ease the couple’s financial strain.
Fast forward a few years and Jamie became employed at McCoy Landscape Services as a Lawn Maintenance Crew Leader. At the time McCoy Landscape had a large contract with the McDonald’s Corporation to provide the Lawn and Landscape Maintenance at all of the Central Ohio McDonald’s Restaurants. McCoy Landscape also operated a separate business called Christmas Décor of Powell which provided Christmas Decorations and Holiday Lighting to many area Homes and Businesses. The Holiday Lighting business was started by Matt and Mark McCoy as a way to extend the employment of the Company’s Lawn Maintenance Division workers. It was during this time that Christmas Decor of Powell started donating their services to the Ronald McDonald House hopefully to brighten the Holiday Season a little bit for all the families going through the toughest times of their lives.
Jamie Griffith immediately latched onto the idea of decorating the Ronald McDonald House, because for him, it was extremely personal and a small way that he could show his gratitude to the Ronald McDonald House for all that they had done for his family. Each year, for over a Decade, Jamie and Dave Snyder, another long time McCoy Crew Leader, have recruited the Volunteers and led the Crew that has donated their time to decorate the Ronald McDonald House and it seems that each year they return with another story of the lives that they have touched.
For more information or to make a contribution to the Central Ohio Ronald McDonald House please contact Doug Binau, the Facilities Director at 614-227-3738 or visit their website at rmhc-centralohio.org.