Grinnell family donates Barbie collection to Ronald McDonald House for charity auction


Nearly 30 years after the nonprofit first opened its doors to them, the Wyatt family donated a Barbie collection to the Ronald McDonald House to be auctioned.

DES MOINES, Iowa — With the Barbie movie being so popular, one family collecting hundreds of Barbies thought it was the perfect time to give back.

“Holy buckets, this is Barbie-palooza,” said Brenda Miller, executive director of Des Moines Ronald McDonald House.

A large collection of 475 Barbies and 95 Hallmark ornaments are set to be auctioned off through the Ronald McDonald House.

“It was a little more than what we had expected, and we really want to make this worthwhile because it is coming from such a kind place,” Miller said.

The Wyatt family had twins in 1985, but after birth, both the babies were immediately transferred to the NICU for five to six weeks.

This forced the Grinnell family to drive to Des Moines every day — nearly an hour trek — that is, until the Ronald McDonald House of Des Moines opened its doors.

The Wyatts said the organization was “a true blessing,” so the family is giving back.

“We filled our van and her vehicle as well, complete passenger side full. You could only see the driver in both vehicles, and brought them all back and unloaded them. And I mean this is not even half, I don’t think, of them,” said Maria Dhabolt, the nonprofit’s special events.

Now, this collection full of rare Barbies will be auctioned off, and all proceeds will go towards the the Ronald McDonald House.

“They experienced our mission firsthand and the services that we provide and donations like this, they know will help us keep our doors open and will help us be able to provide that mission on going,” Miller said.

The auction will provide overnight accommodations for thousands of families traveling to Des Moines for medical care.

“You know this is going to be a phenomenal auction, so we’re going to try and change it out every week. It’s going to end at the end of a week, and those that maybe didn’t sell we’ll keep them on, but were gonna add more, and as you can see it’s going to take a while to get through this auction,” Miller said.

For more information on the auction you can visit the organization’s website, check them out on Facebook or email for any questions.

Portions above reprinted from the website.


The Sue Wyatt story reprinted from the Ronald McDonald House Charities


Our Story by Sue Wyatt

In September of 1984 my husband and I received the amazing news that we were expecting our first child. I had terrible morning sickness, more like all day sickness. My doctor did anlultrasound, and much to oursurprise, they saw twins! It came as quite a shock, since their father is a twin himself.

I was working at a local bank while pregnant withthe twins, and it required standing for long hours every day. It was finally determined inFebruary of 1985 that Ineeded to leave my job and be put on bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy. I was considered a “high risk” pregnancy, and our hometown hospital at that time was not considered prepared for us, so my care was transferred to an OB/GYN in Des Moines at lowa Methodist Medical Center.

Our due date wasMay 5th, 1985. On March 14th, 1985, while on the phone with my husband, who was in Florida for a convention, my water broke. I told him what happened, and that I would be fine, but he needed to get on the next plane home, because the twins were coming now! Luckily my parents lived nearby, and they were able to drive me to the hospital to deliver the babies.

We rushed to Des Moines and IMMG. Our wonderful Dr. Rebecca Shaw did a vertical c-section to quickly remove the babies, while standing on a step stool to be able to reach us.The Girls were born at weights of 4lb 7oz and 4lb 3oz. Lisa was first, and then Laura 2 minutes later. Laura’s lungs collapsed at birth, and the amazing team of doctors and nurses, were able ot re-inflate her lungs and get her breathing again. The babies were both taken immediately to the NICU and were put on oxygen/nitrogen mix and into an incubator. They were ni the NICU for between 5-6 weeks.

My family, and wonderful friends from Grinnell Christian Church, took turns driving me daily from Grinnell to Des Minesso that I could see the twins, and they could have milk, and be held as much as possible. I spent my whole day there with the fantastic nurses, and other mothers seeing their own babies in the NICU.

Ronald McDonald House Helps Out

I can’t remember who told me about the Ronald McDonald house; but I perked up when I learned that it was just down the street, and within walking distance to IMMC (Blank Hospital). My mother and I checked in as soon as possible and from then on, were able towalk over daily to see the girls and hold and feed them.

The Ronald McDonald House was a true blessing, with a comfortable room, as well as food, games, and TV. I no longer had to worry about the stress of commuting 2 hours every day and could spend more time with my babies.

The girls are now wonderful, healthy, young women; and this is our effort to giveback. We hope that the donation of this collection wil help as many other mothers and babies in crisis as possible.