Charities thrive on donations. Without them, they can't survive. But it's not everyday you get a donation in the five-figure range from one person.
But that's what happened to the Ronald McDonald House of Tallahassee, and the person writing the check is overseas, fighting for our country.
Kathy Anderson has been the Executive Director for the Ronald McDonald House of Tallahassee for 16 years. And she'll never forget her trip to the mailbox last week...a trip that changed the house forever.
"It was a typical Monday morning, you are going through the mail and I see this pink envelope. I realize it's a military address and I'm thinking it's one of our families has gone and they are sending us back a picture," said Anderson, "And I open this sweet note and I open the flap and I expect a photo to fall out and a check falls out."
The check was for 10, 271 dollars. Sent in by Officer Malinda Kate Palmer Holt, (Senior Automotive Maintenance Officer/
Senior Ordnance Logistics Officer) stationed overseas in Iraq. Her story dates back 15 years when her granddaughter was born, one pound, 12 ounces, and 13 inches long.
Malinda and her daughter stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Tallahassee for 14 weeks. An extraordinary amount of time, but the time and hospitality wasn't lost on the family. Because 15 years later, from Iraq. A check with love.
"The fact that they were there for my daughter, they fed her, they housed her," said Holt, "When a parent is going through that, they need that more than anything else. "
Nishaunte Johnson is all smiles these days. She's a healthy 14 year old girl living in Newberry, Florida. But 15 years ago, that wasn't the case.
"I remember seeing her foot. It was the size of the first joint and thumb. A tiny little thing, but someone was always with her."
In her letter, Malinda says my enclosed donation of 10,271 dollars will never repay the benefits reaped by my daughter during the 14 weeks Nishaunte was hospitalized, fighting for her life. I truly appreciate all you do, for families in distress.