I wanted to write a bit about our stay at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Hamilton while Theodore was receiving care at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Many people are aware that this organization exists (usually because of McHappy Meals or McHappy Day – an annual fundraiser where a portion of your McDonald’s purchase is donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses Charity) but only a small portion of their funding actually comes from McDonalds. The rest is raised through fundraising activities and other generous donors.
The RMH provides a home away from home for families who have to travel far away from home for treatment for their seriously ill child. When your child is sick, your one and only priority is them. Everything else falls to the wayside. The RMH makes this happen. We were provided with a comfortable room, complimentary breakfast each morning and a free dinner each night. Even though eating was often the last thing on our minds, we never had to worry about it. Extended stays mean time away from work while bills pile up at home and the RMH provided us with a room for only $12/night. And, the wonderful staff there took care of the day to day duties so all we had to worry about was Theo.
The RMH in Hamilton was recently renovated to include amenities such as a gym, theatre, game room, library, multiple lounges and large kitchen where families can also prepare meals for themselves. Even though we spent the majority of our time at the hospital, returning late at night to crawl into bed, it was comforting to know that these features existed.
If you’re looking for a charity to donate time or money to – I highly recommend you check them out. The RMH is always looking for volunteers. And, they always welcome donations of items on their wish list, which are provided to families during their stay – things like laundry detergent, toys, slippers, toothbrushes, and gift cards. I know some of these things may seem small but they make a big difference! And, don’t forget to treat yourself to a burger next McHappy Day.
This is an organization that I pray none of you will ever have to use but am beyond thankful that they exist for families going through some of the hardest times of their lives.