Ronald McDonald House
Since 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Central Ohio Chapter has been making children happier and healthier by keeping families together and affording a place of rest and refreshment, a place that feels like home.
Creative Fundraising and Partnerships Stretch Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Services for Families with Children Facing Medical Challenges
“A home-away-from-home”–this is what all Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) chapters seek to offer families with children in need of extended medical care in communities throughout the nation and across the globe. The Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, Ohio is the second largest RM House in the world, serving over 3,000 families every year as a home-away-from-home while a child is hospitalized. This House provides over 20,000 nights of family shelter and is located right across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Serving on average 250 people each day, the House is currently expanding its 80 guest rooms to make room for even more people.
When a child is in the hospital, having family nearby is a comfort beyond compare. Extended illnesses and medical challenges not only pose a great deal of anxiety and stress for sick children but also for the family members who care for them during this tumultuous time. At the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, some 250 volunteers annually log 35,000 hours to provide home-cooked meals and childcare to these families in their time of need.
Operating the world’s second largest RM House in the world of course requires significant capital. The Central Ohio Chapter of RMHC has risen to the challenge through strategic partnerships with businesses, a creative earned income venture, and its money-saving Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program.
Dee Anders, RMHC Central Ohio’s Executive Director, is rightly proud of the organization’s earned income venture selling donated automobiles (trucks, boats, or RVs). RMHC has partnered with Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) to collect unwanted vehicles and turn them into profit to aid their continued community service. It is “a win-win when you can turn one man’s trash into another man’s treasure,” Anders says. Individuals are able to make a tax-deductible donation to a great cause while someone comes to collect their unwanted item.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a state-of-the-art pediatric clinic on wheels, is another example of the nonprofit’s creativity. The Care Mobile is staffed by pediatric doctors and nurses from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. By providing services at little or no cost to the patient, the Care Mobile virtually eliminates financial and geographic barriers to health care access. All insurances including Medicaid are accepted. The Care Mobile also reduces the strain placed on local hospital Emergency Rooms by families using them for non-emergency care. By working in partnership with the community’s health care leaders, the Care Mobile bridges gaps between underserved children and local communities. It travels to locations that are identified as lacking in pediatric resources or underutilizing existing ones to provide services such as immunizations or increase awareness on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The Care Mobile is able to address the most critical childhood health needs and cater its services to the communities that it travels to.