Having a child in the hospital is a stressful and exhausting time for parents. Simple duties such as planning meals, doing laundry or even just responding to emails can become an impossible burden.
Celebrating 40 years of service to our community, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton (RMHC) aims to provide a “home away from home” to families with critically ill children. Dayton Parent spoke to Kaitlin Webb, marketing and communications coordinator of RMHC of Dayton, to learn more about what this organization offers.
How does RMHC aid the families of sick children?
RMHC of Dayton is the only organization in our community solely dedicated to providing hospitality services to families of hospitalized pediatric patients.
The Ronald McDonald House — located across the street from Dayton Children’s Hospital, and just minutes away from Miami Valley Hospital and Kettering Medical Center — provides families with many of the comforts of home, such as home-cooked meals, on-site laundry facilities and private rooms.
The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms — located inside Dayton Children’s Hospital and inside Emmett’s Place at Miami Valley Hospital — provide areas for families to relax, regroup and regain the strength they need, all while staying just steps from their child’s bedside. Amenities include a fully stocked kitchen, napping pods for resting, laundry facilities, computer stations and more.
Room availability is based on criticality of the child and the distance families must travel to receive care. Though we do ask for a donation from families staying at the House, no family is ever turned away due to inability to pay.
Can you share a local family’s experience with RMHC?
Jonny and Hannah Picard had just decided to move to Ohio, when they learned they were expecting. At Hannah’s 21-week checkup, the couple discovered some devastating news. Their baby boy wasn’t surrounded by amniotic fluid. This meant a very high probability of complications for both Hannah and the baby.
The Picards made the very personal and difficult decision to see this journey through to whatever end, and began what would be a 95-day stay at Miami Valley Hospital. During that time, the Picards used the Ronald McDonald Family Room as a place to rest and regroup without having to leave the hospital.
“It was so nice to be able to throw in a load of laundry, grab a homemade meal, rest in the comfy chairs and watch a TV show, grab a quick snack or chat with the staff who came to know and encourage us so much along our journey,” Hannah Picard says.
After 63 days, Asher Benjamin Picard was born! The Picards remained at the hospital for 32 days while Asher was in the NICU, and then the family began their new life in Dayton together.
How can people support RMHC?
Community members can:
- Donate wish list items/make monetary donations
- Collect pull-tabs (from pop cans, pet food, etc.)
- Serve a hot meal
- Host a fundraiser
- Become a pantry partner
- Donate a vehicle
Visit rmhcdayton.org to learn more about volunteer and donation opportunities, view the current wish list or get additional information about RMHC.