“Being able to stay here so we can be close to Kaley* has been a godsend,” said Sheila S.* as she poured herself another cup of coffee. Sheila and her husband Jerry are one of the many families that are dealing with a major pediatric illness or health condition in Upstate South Carolina. The Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Carolinas has been providing them a comforting place to stay while they focus their energies on getting Kaley well enough to go home.
Located in Greenville, SC, Ronald McDonald House of the Carolinas has been helping families with housing and emotional support since 1989. The facility has continued to grow both in size and the numbers of families helped. There is a now Ronald McDonald Family Room at Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House recently added a 17,500 sq. foot expansion in2018.
The additional space means that even more families can be close to their children, but it can also add more stressors to the operations in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Mikey’s Fest, a charity event created by Mike Pailliotet, travels across the US to help Ronald McDonald Houses by taking care of major cleaning requirements in one weekend. The event recruits local cleaning professionals, vendors, and manufacturers to provide the labor and supplies. Despite the daunting tasks and tight deadline, the volunteers always report that Mikey’s Fest one of their favorite events.
“This is my third Mikey’s Fest, and it might be the best one yet,” Stephen Leung declared during the February 16 event at Ronald McDonald House of the Carolinas. “This House is in my backyard, so to speak, so there’s a good chance I know families who have benefitted from this facility. I’m glad I can do something to give back to such a worthwhile organization.”
As the Eastern Regional Sales Rep for Contec Professional, Stephen spends most days traveling or meeting with customers. On any given day, he is demonstrating the efficacy of the patented Premira® nonlaunderable microfiber floor pads in a 700-bed hospital, the ContecClean™ Cloth in a school district, or Sporicidin disinfectants to mold remediation specialists. His knowledge of the Contec Professional product portfolio and its superior results was one of the main reasons he joined his first Mikey’s Fest in 2018.
“During my 20 years at Contec, I’ve visited countless critical cleaning environments, so I know what a difference the right tools make,” explained Stephen. “There’s probably nothing more critical than the environment around a sick child and trying to eliminate cross-contamination is essential. I know that when I’m cleaning with Premira floor pads, I’m picking up more debris and contaminants, plus there’s worry about making sure the mops are washed correctly after use.”
For the Mikey’s Fest event at the Greenville Ronald McDonald House, Stephen and fellow Contec Professional sales rep and volunteer Anne Bedwell donated a pallet of products for the entire crew to use, including Premira floor pads, Premira hand pads, Premira wipes, ContecClean Cloth wipes, ZeroGravity mop frames, and much more. At the end of the event, any unused Contec Professional products remained at the Ronald McDonald House for daily cleaning staff to use, thereby extending the cleanliness of the facility.
“Knowing that we can directly improve people’s lives with our technology is a great feeling,” said Stephen as he finished his last tasks at the Mikey’s Fest in Greenville. “We’re already looking at our calendars to see when we can join another Mikey’s Fest—and this time, we’ll be bringing more volunteers.”
To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Carolinas, please visit https://rmhc-carolinas.org/.
To learn more about Mikey’s Fest, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/MikeysFest/.
*Not their real names