Ways you can support Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald Family room inside Dayton Children's Hospital opened recently. CONNIE POST/STAFF
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The Ronald McDonald Family room inside Dayton Children's Hospital opened recently. CONNIE POST/STAFF

Dayton’s Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families facing a child’s hospitalization.

The Dayton area’s attractive local home, located across the street from Dayton Children’s Hospital, was established in 1980 as the 14th house in the system. Today it serves approximately 400 families a year. They are provided with everything from meals and snacks to laundry facilities and a cozy place to relax away from the hospital environment.

“There is a voluntary room fee of $15 a night but no one is ever turned away for lack of payment,” explains Karen Dempsey Volke, chief development officer, who says it costs the House approximately $150 per night to provide services to a family. “Sometimes we get donations from former guest families months or even years later in appreciation for the care and hospitality they received from us,” she said.

The big news is the addition of a Ronald McDonald Family Room, located in the hospital. It’s only the second one in the state.

“Since opening our new Ronald McDonald Family Room on Feb. 1 this year, we have served an additional 2300 families with our hospitality services,” says Volke.

Located on the second floor of the hospital, the Family Room provides meals, beverages, snacks, shower and laundry facilities only steps away from their children’s rooms and eliminates the need to cross the street to come to the house in nasty weather or late at night.

Volke says serving so many additional families has challenged the organization’s resources, increasing the need for in-kind donations of popular items.

Here’s what the Ronald McDonald House needs most:

  • Pop-tarts
  • Individually packaged breakfast cereals
  • Individually packaged snack cakes
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Easy Mac Cups
  • Single serving cups of ravioli/Spaghetti-o's
  • Fruit and applesauce cups
  • Individually packaged toothbrushes
  • Lysol wipes
  • Kitchen size trash bags
  • Swiffer Wet Jet Cleaner
  • Pull tabs from soups, beverages, canned fruits and vegetables and pet food. These are collected at the House and weighed by First Street Recycling. The value of the aluminum is donated back to the House.

All donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton, 555 Valley Street (Corner of Valley and Chapel), 45404.

More ways to help Ronald McDonald House

  • Interested organizations and individuals can "Adopt a Room" to help support the cost of overnight stays for guest families. The average length of stay for a family is 7-10 days.
  • In addition to cash and vehicle donations, you can also help by attending one of the Ronald McDonald House fundraisers. They include the annual Doors of Compassion, scheduled for April 1, 2017; the RMHC Golf Classic at NCR Country Club on August 28, 2017; and the Mix 107.7 Radiothon on September 28, 2017. Third-Party special events, coordinated by community groups, are welcome as well.
  • In collaboration with 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, the Ronald McDonald House is providing guest rooms for families with children in town for training with service dogs, saving them the added expense of hotels and dining.
  • Volunteer opportunities and donor options are available on the House website: www.RMHCdayton.org

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