I have lived in cities with Ronald McDonald Houses most of my life, but have never been inside one until today.
Our family visited the RMH in Winston-Salem this afternoon. It was like a being in a 31,000 sqft mansion except with less superfluous bling and more love.
The RMH provides a "home away from home" for families of children who are receiving medical care in our community's hospitals.
Having a child in the hospital is stressful for any parent. Couple that with commuting to and from the hospital each day and you have a recipe for utter exhaustion.
RMH not only provides a private room and food for free, it is a safe place for the whole family to receive encouragement from staff and other families in similar situations. One of the best things about the RMH is that it is only a few hundred steps from the hospital.
We encourage you to learn about their many volunteer opportunities. For example: Did you know different volunteer groups prepare and deliver dinner for all the families every night?
Another great way to support RMD is through their wish list. They need just about every household item you would need in your own home.
Is there a Ronald McDonald House in your city? Do you know anyone who has stayed at a RMH?
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A dear friend of mine stayed at a Ronald McDonald house in Southern California when she went into labor on vacation and delivered her son 2 months early. He was in the NICU and not stable enough to move back up to Northern CA where they lived. Across the street from the hospital was an RMH and she and her husband were invited to stay when she was discharged. She felt so blessed to be so close to her son, especially when her husband had to go back home for work. Their house was a 5 or 6 bedroom home, so they were lucky to have a space for her. They didn't have volunteers coming to provide food at her house. She said each family had a shelf where they could put their own food in the kitchen, as well has having a shelf with communal basic foods that the house provided. There was also a living room where they could entertain visitors, and a family room with TV and toys for the kids to play.
Before her stay there (almost 5 years ago) I never really knew what they did at Ronald McDonald Houses, but what she told me allowed me to see the incredible service they provide. I'm glad that you guys agree with her assessment and are letting people know about them. :)
Yes. I can only imagine the burden lifted to be able to stay close by the hospital.
The RMH in Winston-Salem has lots of rooms like that too (family room, tv, play, read, etc.).
About 15 years ago I had a friend who had a daughter with some pretty severe medical problems and she was treated in the big city 2 hours away from where we lived then. They stayed at the Ronald McDonald house every time they had to go for procedures. I remember her telling me what a blessing that was!
Last fall a new RMH opened near us. When I went to try and sign up to bring meals, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the meal schedule was full - for MONTHS! So we went another route, and decided to make fleece tie blankets (some for babies, some for bigger kids) that the RMH can give to kids when they check in. My kids loved making the blankets, and our small group and their kids joined us, so that we were able to donate a bunch this winter. We'll be doing this again!
That is cool that you make fleece blankets with your kids. It seems like the RMH has something to do for any volunteer.
Oh, and my aunt, uncle and cousins stayed at RMH 25+ years ago when one of their boys was being treated for leukemia, which eventually took his life. They were so appreciative of RMH and all it did for them!
I used to volunteer at a RMH in high school. My mom was on the board of directors for our local RMH. My brother-in-law and his family recently stayed at one in Philadelphia while my niece was having and recovering from surgery. It was so nice for them to be right near the hospital and yet be able to get away for a little relaxtion. The one they stayed is nearly new (built in 2008) and was HUGE. Huge gameroom, huge playroom, huge everything. It really is a great organization.
We stayed in the San diego Children's Hospital & Health Center Ronald McDonald House for 5 weeks when our daughter was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. She had two surgeries and it took several weeks to stabilize her symptoms and medications before we could bring her home. It was during the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays and the people from the Ronald McDonald House were wonderful providing a holiday spirit at a very difficult time in our lives.
Third attempt at commenting here- bear with me guys :(
Thank you so much for highlighting such an amazing organization. They fill a very real need and do it with excellence.
I encounter families every night I work whose lives are impacted in a positive way by Ronald McDonald House. In fact, I would have to say that the majority of our PICU patient's families stay there- many for extended periods of time.
RMH recently built a newer, gorgeous, and well- planned facility in Tucson. It is large, very close to the hospital, and has incredible amenities. There is also a Ronald McDonald family room in the DCMC itself. Many of our family members (understandably) do not wish to leave the hospital and "room in" with their child. The family room offers a place that they can do laundry, get snacks, and relax in a lounge-type setting.
I am so thankful for all the ways that Ronald McDonald House makes the lives of my patients' families more bearable in the midst of unimaginably difficult circumstances.
Your are in my old neck of the woods! I am originally from Greensboro but I live in Texas now. All of my family is still in NC. I hope you have a wonderful visit and you must try some NC pork barbecue, Stamey's in Greensboro is my favorite!
It is beautiful here in NC! Thanks for the BBQ tip. We will keep our eyes open. :)