The hours tick on as the parent waits, but amidst the constant white halls of a hospital she finds it difficult to tell just how much time has passed. It’s been days since she first brought her son in for his hacking cough, but she hasn’t kept track; she simply sleeps by his bedside, not wanting to miss the moment when he wakes up and asks for her. She can’t afford the time it takes to travel out of the city for a shower and few hours’ sleep, or the cost of a room in the hotel nearby. With her child lying still in a hospital bed, the mother can barely keep herself steady, much less attend to her own practical needs. The stress of the practical is too much.
Having a child in the hospital is a parent’s nightmare. Struggling through the day-to-day battles against a child’s illnesses takes strength – and often, parents don’t have enough energy or resources remaining to care for themselves. The Ronald McDonald House Charities understand how difficult it is to support a hospitalized loved one, and thereby dedicate themselves to resolving practical problems for parents with ill children.
RMHC provides safe harbor for parents who struggle to support hospitalized loved ones. In my home city of Georgia, the organization has two locations: a 50-bedroom facility at Egleston, and a 31-bedroom establishment near Scottish Rite. Both houses stand near to major hospitals, and offer affordable housing to parents who need to stay close to their hospitalized child, but are unable to pay the exorbitant costs of a hotel room on top of their medical expenses- especially when their child’s stay continues on for weeks on end. Families typically remain with RMHC for about eight days, although some need to remain for months at a time.
While it costs approximately $111 to house a family for a night, the organization only asks its residents to contribute $20 for a night’s stay. However, families struggling under the weight of countless medical bills are often unable to pay even that – so the RMHC does what it can to defray costs, and provide affordable shelter to stressed parents. I believe in the good that Ronald McDonald House Charities does for families during their most trying times, and I support their efforts because I know that they cannot achieve what they do alone. Please consider becoming a House Hero by committing to a monthly donation, or consider adopting a room or family! Even hosting a fundraiser at your workplace would do a world of good for the families in RMHC’s care.
Having a child in the hospital is frightening and stressful – but RMHC does what is can to lessen the burden on parents’ worried shoulders. I wholeheartedly support them in their efforts – and I hope you consider doing the same.