For over forty years, Ronald McDonald House Charites have provided financial and housing assistance to sick children and their families and caregivers in cities across America. The yearly Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour supports the house’s mission by taking up a love offering at each stop to support the families whose lives are aided by the charity. In preparation for the tour, kicking off May 17th in Chicago, gospel powerhouses and tour performers JJ Hairston and Deitrick Haddon, visited the Ronald McDonald House Chicago location near Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The guided tour was emotional for JJ, who remembered his own family’s needs after the birth of their premie years ago.
“I didn’t really understand what the Ronald McDonald House was before I came here. I thought it was a place that treated the sicknesses. I didn’t realize they housed the families of the kids who are dealing with different types of sicknesses. It struck a chord with me, because they help a lot of families who have premies, and my son was a premie. I remember having to go back and forth to the hospital for a month and a half, and the financial strain. So to have a program like this that can relieve that pressure, that’s amazing.”
Haddon remarked on all the love he felt in the building.
“What blew my mind about it, was the fact that there are 66 rooms and they allow 66 families to stay here, which I thought was a connection to the 66 books of the Bible. Now I may be trying to be deep, but the fact that all this love is everywhere, I think there is a connection there.”
The pair also remarked how excited they are about the tour, saying they are looking forward to performing on stage together.
“Gospel is such a staple in our communities because it’s built on something that doesn’t change,” JJ said of the genre. “All other forms of music are built around emotions, feelings and thoughts that change. But what we sing about is the gospel of God, and that never changes.”
You can catch these men of God and their remarkable music at the following tour stops this year: