When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness or injury, the whole family is affected. Not only do they have to cope with the emotional and physical challenges of the situation, but they also have to deal with the practical and financial difficulties of traveling and staying near the hospital where their child is receiving treatment. That’s where Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk (RMHC of Norfolk) comes in.
RMHC of Norfolk is a non-profit organization that provides comfort, care, and a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children who are treated at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) and other local medical facilities. RMHC of Norfolk operates two programs: the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room.
The Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House is a 20-bedroom facility located just steps away from CHKD in Norfolk, Virginia. It offers families a place to stay for a nominal donation of $10 per night, or for free if they cannot afford it. The House provides families with private bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry facilities, a fully stocked kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a playroom, a library, and a courtyard. The House also provides families with meals, snacks, toiletries, transportation, and other amenities to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
The House is more than just a place to sleep. It is also a place where families can find support, friendship, and hope from other families who are going through similar experiences. The House staff and volunteers are always ready to lend a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to help. The House also hosts various activities and events for families, such as movie nights, game nights, arts and crafts, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and more.
The House can accommodate up to 60 people per night and serves over 800 families per year. Families can stay at the House for as long as their child needs treatment, whether it is for a few days or several months. The House operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Ronald McDonald Family Room
The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a 2,500-square-foot space located on the eighth floor of CHKD. It offers families a place to relax and recharge while remaining close to their child’s bedside. The Family Room provides families with comfortable seating areas, computers with internet access, televisions, books, magazines, games, toys, snacks, beverages, and other amenities. The Family Room also has four sleeping rooms with private bathrooms for families who need to rest overnight.
The Family Room is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Families can access the Family Room for free by showing their CHKD identification badge. The Family Room serves over 2,000 families per year.
How You Can Help
RMHC of Norfolk relies on the generosity of donors and volunteers to keep its programs running. There are many ways you can help support RMHC of Norfolk and make a difference in the lives of families with sick children:
- Donate money online or by mail.
- Donate items from the wish list such as food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift cards, etc.
- Volunteer at the House or the Family Room by preparing meals, cleaning rooms, doing laundry, organizing activities, etc.
- Participate in fundraising events such as Red Shoe Zoo1, an annual family-friendly event that features live music, games, food trucks2, animal encounters3, and more.
Spread the word about RMHC of Norfolk by following them on social media4, sharing their stories5, and inviting your friends and family to get involved.
In conclusion, RMHC of Norfolk is a wonderful organization that provides a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children who are treated at CHKD and other local medical facilities. By offering comfortable accommodations, supportive services, and a caring community, RMHC of Norfolk helps families stay close to their children and cope with the challenges they face. You can help RMHC of Norfolk continue its mission by donating, volunteering, participating, or spreading the word. Thank you for your support and compassion.