NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware men’s and women’s basketball teams will celebrate the holidays throughout the next few weeks as the Blue Hens will collect items for their annual Ronald McDonald House of Delaware Wish List Drive.

“We once again very excited to be a part of the holiday ceremonies at the Ronald McDonald House this year,” exclaimed men’s basketball head coach Monté Ross.  “As a member of the Board of Directors, I get a behind the scenes look at how much work is done for those children, and we welcome any opportunity for our players to get to experience something like that.”

Additionally, the Hens will join the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware on Thursday, Dec. 12 as a part of their Share A Night fundraiser.  Throughout the fundraiser, lights will be placed on the House as a symbol of generosity.  The Blue Hens will join in on the festivities that include refreshments, music and a visit from Ronald himself!

“There are so many special people linked to the Ronald McDonald House and we look forward to supporting them each year,” women’s basketball head coach Tina Martin commented.  “Seeing the excitement and joy on the children’s faces when we visit is priceless.  I know I can speak for our coaches and players in saying that we are excited to give back to the community once again.”

UD will collect needed items for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware during the men’s basketball game against Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 4 and during the women’s basketball Colonial Athletic Association opener against Hofstra on Sunday, Jan. 5.

Blue Hens Basketball and UD Athletics encourage fans to help make a difference and bring one (1) of the following wish list items to donate at each game:
             ·      Individually wrapped snack foods
             ·      Cereal boxes (large and individual servings)
             ·      Canned meats
             ·      Trash bags (tall kitchen)
             ·      Paper towels
             ·      Storage containers (Gladlock)
             ·      8x12x2” Disposable aluminum casserole pans
             ·      Fabric softener sheets
             ·      Disinfectant cleaner (Lysol)
             ·      Soft Scrub
             ·      Disinfectant wipes
             ·      Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
             ·      Febreeze
             ·      Scouring sponges
             ·      Furniture polish
             ·      Facial tissues
             ·      Pillows
             ·      Gas cards
             ·      International phone cards

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to provide nurturing and supportive environments and services to directly improve the health and well being of children and to bring comfort to their families.

The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware provides a safe, affordable “home away from home” to families of seriously or chronically ill or injured children who are being treated at area hospitals and operates 3 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms within pediatric units of hospitals across Delaware.

The House is a place where families can stay together and receive the kind of special care they need at such difficult times. Families find a bit of comfort and peace and a hot evening meal after a long day at the Hospital. The House has 56,000 square feet of living space with 50 guest rooms, each with a private bathroom. Staff and volunteers welcome families and visitors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Ronald McDonald House also operates three Family Rooms at Bayhealth Medical Center, Christiana Care and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children to provide a respite space away from the child’s hospital bedside.