Friday, September 9, 2011

the Ronald McDonald House

This month, I am featuring the Ronald McDonald House Charities and focusing on our local chapter, the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan. I had heard of the organization before, but it wasn't until I began working on my senior thesis project that I began to see the importance of this non-profit.

While working on my thesis project at GVSU, I met several families that were going through some form of medical emergency which required them to live away from their homes for a long period of time. This often meant staying in hotels, staying with host families, or living in the Ronald McDonald House. I was able to hear from them first hand what it meant to be near their loved ones at the hospital, while still having a soft bed to sleep in and space for themselves.

The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan
Each Ronald McDonald House provides a "home away from home" for families so they can stay near the hospital their child is in for little or no cost. At the House, they receive home cooked meals and each family has their own private bedroom and bathroom. Depending on the chapter, some Houses have special suites for children with suppressed immune systems, educational programs, recreational activities, non-clinical support services and sibling support services.   

The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan has 17 private rooms and is 19,000 square feet in total. It has a community style kitchen with home cooked meals provided, as well as non-perishable food items, baked goods and dairy products. The House also has playrooms, a rec room and a laundry facility with supplies available.
The Houses come in as a saving grace for families facing a medical emergency away from home. Staying at a House can save a family hundreds of dollars, while at the same time allowing them to stay together as a family. These Houses are run on donations and by volunteers, and that is where you and I come in!

There are SO many ways to volunteer your time at a House. Can you cook? Sign up to cook a meal for House guests! Can you clean? Sign up to do light housekeeping tasks at the House! Can you drive? Sign up to drive the shuttle to and from the hospitals! Can you answer a telephone? Sign up for a guest services shift at the House!

And if you can't do any of those things, then purchase something from Thirty One this month and a percentage of the sales go to RMH! OR collect pop tabs and send them to the RMH so they can turn them in for $ for the House! Seriously, so many ways to help! 

Be the change. Make the difference. 

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