PALO ALTO, California --For many families Ronald McDonald House is the next best place to being home for the holiday.
"It's a blessing to be able to be a part of what's going on here," said Candy Arnold, a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford in Palo Alto, California. "And to let people know they're not alone for the holidays."
Arnold has been volunteering at the house for seven years. She is one of several volunteers with Jubilee Christian Center out of San Jose. "For me it takes to place of a loss in the family and it's something the person I lost would have done," she said.
There are 67 families living at the House full time and even in this bigger facility that opened up this summer. There are still 30 families on the waiting list to get in each night.
"It's a beautiful thing," said Pat O'Brien father of 8-year-old Debbie, who needs a heart transplant. "We've come a long way in the last four months and wasn't sure if we were going to be here, where we'd be, how'd we be, if she'd be here with us."
"I know why I have a heart pump," said Debbie. "Because God wants to make miracles like me."
"She's at the top of the list for her type and size," said Debbie's mother Mollie. "We're just gonna wait it's literally, you just get a call. You go, just wait."
As the O'Brien family waits, Debbie is focused on being a little girl with her sights set on a Christmas wish.
She wants an American Girl dollhouse.
Her parents say they just want her to be happy and healthy. "We pray for the very perfect match," said Mollie.
They hope it's a match that will make starting over possible.
You can donate to Debbie's GoFundMe page here.