5 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Ronald McDonald Houses (But Should)
Volunteers from The Bank of Tampa - Waters Office
Many of us have heard the name or seen the logo but don't really know what Ronald McDonald House Charities do. I personally had no idea until I needed to learn. My son was born in May 2014 with a rare heart condition, requiring open heart surgery at 7 days old and again at 6 months. He spent 5 weeks in the hospital after he was born and the Ronald McDonald House in Charlottesville, Virginia was more valuable to my family and me than I can possibly express here. It was a clean, warm bed when we were mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. It was a place of rejoicing and mourning with fellow parents who were going through similar ups and downs. It was a place where warm meals were prepared nearly every night by people in the community who generously donated their time and resources to serve families they didn't know. And most of all, it was a home away from home for my family when comfort was desperately needed.
Here are some interesting facts about Ronald McDonald Houses you may not know...
- Ronald McDonald Houses are for families of children under the age of 18 (or 21 in some cases) who are being treated at a local hospital. Stays range from days to over a year depending on the severity of the illness.
- The first Ronald McDonald House was established in 1974 in Philadelphia, PA. Now, there are 353 local chapters worldwide. Over 5.7 million families and children were served by Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2014.
- It costs $50-$100 per room per night to house a family but most houses ask for donations of $25 or less. If a family is unable to pay, they are not turned away. Outside donations make up the difference so that every family that is eligible has the chance to stay.
- McDonald's is a generous corporate partner but the majority of Ronald McDonald Houses annual operating budget comes not from the McDonald's Corporation but from other local individuals and corporations.
- Dinners for RMH residents are made by local volunteers nearly every night of the week. These generous individuals, families, businesses, college organizations, etc. buy the ingredients and cook a meal so that the people staying at the House can focus solely on the needs of their sick children instead of worrying about dinner. Many Ronald McDonald Houses use TakeThemAMeal.com to organize these nightly meals. Some schedules have over 2,000 coordinated meals! TakeThemAMeal.com is thrilled to partner with such a worthy organization!
If you'd like to learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities and volunteer opportunities in your area visit www.rmhc.org.
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