When your child is sick, I think every parent’s heart breaks at first. And then we pick ourselves up and get busy making sure we take care of them the best way we can. Sometimes that can mean traveling to a hospital that specializes in treating the illness a child has, and that can be disruptive and devastating to a family. Enter the Ronald McDonald houses.
Now regardless of your feelings about McDonald’s restaurants, what the Ronald McDonald Houses provide to families in need is nothing less than wonderful. And I got to see it firsthand with a few Blogger friends and our kids at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Feliz.
If a family whose child has cancer or a life-threatening illness needs to be at Children’s Hospital, which is basically right across the street, or even at Cedars-Sinai, which is not too far away, the Ronald McDonald House is their best option for where to stay during treatment. At $25/night, it’s a bargain compared to a hotel, but if even that much money is a hardship for a family to pay, then all costs are waived and their stay is free.
Funded by generous donations from the public, it turns out Ronald McDonald houses receive only 10-15% of their operating budget from local McDonald’s owner/operators. They have two main fund-raisers every year: the annual Walk For Kids, happening this year on April 1, 2012 (with a kick-off breakfast taking place Thursday, January 7th, 2012) and a gala that takes place in Summer. But they will accept donations any time of year.
One way you can help is to gather a group of friends and/or family and make dinner for the residents of the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, something that’s needed 3 times per week. Restaurants sometimes cater meals, but often it’s a group of colleagues from work, or a committed group of friends, who come to the house and cook for the 75 families who stay there while their child is in treatment.
As a mom, I know if my child were sick I would do anything to help him, and I love knowing that there are people and organizations out there that will help families when they’re doing everything they can to help their child.