...And the winner of the Mr. Rooter Plumbing "Rolls of Love" Photo Contest is The Tower of Love: Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Sonoma County, owned by Paul and Saunda Kitchen! Congratulations!!
Thank you for voting. It was a fun way to end our "Rolls of Love" Drive. I've asked Whitney Wyatt, our Communications Manager, to share with you the story behind the drive and why it means so much to us at Mr. Rooter Plumbing.
What started as a monthly donation for the needy at a Pennsylvania church by a Mr. Rooter® employee's mother turned into a North American donation drive for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchises in the United States and Canada donated $19,000 worth of 'Wish List' items to the Ronald McDonald House® program in their communities. Donations included toilet paper and paper towels - the same items that prompted this promotion. "I had no idea it would get this big," said Barbara Sullivan, whose daughter Bobbi is a franchise consultant for Mr. Rooter LLC. "It was laid on my heart when a man on disability told me he couldn't afford toilet paper, and asked if I had any to spare." This mother-daughter duo spends the third Friday of each month at St. Mary's Church in Lancaster, Pa., handing out toilet paper and paper towels to those who attend the church's community meal. When the younger Sullivan shared this at a regional meeting, Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise owners suggested they do this. On Valentine's Day, they rolled out the "Rolls of Love" Drive for RMHC. "The amount of items we were able to raise blows me away," Bobbi Sullivan said. "These are items we take for granted, but they're a necessity." The drive was so successful it will become an annual event to benefit children and families served by RMHC. 2012 is the third year Mr. Rooter Plumbing and its affiliate companies - Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, The Grounds Guys and Rainbow International - have made an annual national commitment of $100,000 to the nonprofit. RMHC was established in memory of McDonald's® founder and franchise icon Ray Kroc in 1984. The cornerstone program, the Ronald McDonald House, provides a "home-away-from-home" so families can stay close by while their ill child gets the health care they need. "We are very thankful to Mr. Rooter and its employees who have selected RMHC as their charity of choice," said Jennifer Blanchard Smith, senior director of Communications and Special Programs, RMHC. "Your generosity will certainly make a difference in the lives of children and families served through our Ronald McDonald Houses, a family-center program that provides stability and resources to families fighting the illness of a child." As for Barbara Sullivan, she is wowed by the outcome of the "Rolls of Love" Drive and humbled to be the catalyst that is now helping hundreds - if not thousands - of families. "This is a phenomenal mission," she said. "Every time I turn around there is more toilet paper on my doorstep to donate. People who give feel good, and there must be lots of people who feel good about donating to the 'Rolls of Love' Drive."
Bobbi is not only my colleague at Mr. Rooter Plumbing, she is also a dear friend of mine. We worked together at Cookies by Design, and I've known her for 19 years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her and her mother for giving us the idea for the "Rolls of Love" Drive. Her mother is right - it feels good to give back.
Stay tuned - we're doing it again next year. Here's wishing you a world class day!