From Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, this month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:
Serving Central Texas for 30 years, the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Texas (RMHC CTX) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.
RMHC CTX began providing temporary lodging and support services to hospitalized children and their families in 1985 in Austin’s first Ronald McDonald House®. For three decades, we have cared for thousands of families by providing a “home-away-from-home” at our Ronald McDonald House® and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®. Since 1993, we have also supported families who have lost a child through our Healing Hearts program, which provides burial assistance and bereavement support.
RMHC CTX was built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child. When a child is hospitalized, the love and support of a family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. Helping a sick child fight their illness takes an emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial strain can make it almost unbearable. RMHC CTX helps address those concerns by providing families a “home-away-from-home” so they focus on the most important thing – the healing of their child.
Services are provided to families seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2014, nearly 1,600 families were provided accommodations at the 30 guest room Ronald McDonald House and three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and 150 families were supported through Healing Hearts. Every amenity at RMHC CTX – from nourishing meals to the pillows on every bed -- is because of a giving community.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House provides families a nurturing haven that’s located close to their critically ill or injured children. Located next to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, the Ronald McDonald House has 30 suite-style guest rooms that have living room areas, bedrooms, private bathrooms, televisions and computers. There is a warm and welcoming community kitchen where volunteer groups prepare meals for families twice daily, fitness room, laundry rooms, video game room, Community Room available for community and corporate groups to use for meeting space, three roof top gardens and free Wi-Fi.
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms
For families with children in the neonatal or pediatric intensive care units, RMHC CTX operates four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms located within Dell Children’s Medical Center, North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Hospital and Seton Medical Center Austin. Family Rooms are comforting havens that provide families an opportunity to rest and group while being moments away from their hospitalized children. Most Family Rooms include sleep rooms, a kitchen with snacks and drinks, laundry facilities, full bathroom, living area with children’s play area, internet access and televisions.
In 1993, RMHC CTX launched the Healing Hearts program to help families who have lost children by providing burial assistance and bereavement counseling. RMHC CTX also hosts bereavement counseling programs in our community room with a licensed counselor and private space for sessions.
Each year, RMHC CTX relies on a network of volunteers to help us care for our families. From cooking, cleaning, comforting or simply being available to help, volunteers make a vital difference. Individual as well as group volunteer opportunities are available. For more information, please visit rmhc-ctx.org/get-involved/volunteer.
Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House
House volunteers play an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Ronald McDonald House. They provide administrative support, keep our House clean and tidy, offer family support, serve as a welcoming face and provide information to visitors.
Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald Family Room
Family Room volunteers play an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, Volunteers help check in families, record data, keep the Family Room neat and tidy, serve as a warm, friendly face to families and provide them with resources.
After a long day at the hospital, our families appreciate coming back to a home-cooked meal. Together with friends, family or co-workers, volunteers plan a menu and prepare a comforting meal for our families. Our kitchen is fully stock with cookware, utensils and spices. Meal providers only need to provide the food. For more information, please visit rmhc-ctx.org/meal-provider.
Special Events/Special Talents
We are always in need of volunteers to participate on special event committees including organizing, planning and hosting special events.
Volunteers with specialized skills from graphic design, technical support or website experience can also offer assistance so we can continue to effectively support our families.
Wish List Drives
We are always in need of general household supplies for families that stay at the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. Small comforts like individually wrapped snacks, juice boxes, travel size toiletries make a difference when a family travels back and forth to the hospitals. Hosting a Wish List drive helps collect these vital items that are always needed. You can view our Wish List at rmhc-ctx.org/get-involved/wish-list.