While the Ronald McDonald House of New Orleans
has been destroyed by high winds and the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) said they are grateful that the families staying at the House were safely evacuated and that chapters around the world are coming together to provide a safe haven and assistance to the families of pediatric patients affected by the disaster.
In response to the news of the loss of the New Orleans house support for RMHC of Greater New Orleans has been swift: RMHC Taiwan granted the RMHC $100,000 and RMHC Brazil will divert 15 days of donations (approximately $60,000) from their RMHC collection canisters in McDonald’s restaurants to the New Orleans chapter.
The staff, board, and volunteers of many RMHC chapters are engaged in a wide variety of hurricane relief efforts.
To date 15 houses and one Family Room are providing lodging services to nearly 200 families of pediatric patients relocated from hospitals in the region.
More than 30,000 volunteers from around the world provide the backbone of the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room programs. The program extends the comfort of a house to a hospital setting.
In addition to lodging the local chapters and programs are providing meals, clothing, personal items, and food for these families who in many cases have arrived with few or no personal items.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program is actively involved in delivering medical care and social services to displaced residents from the Gulf Coast. Through relationships with local health care providers the program brings cost-effective medical and health education services directly to underserved children around the world.
Staff says in addition to supporting the core programs, RMHC and their global network of local chapters in 48 countries have awarded more than $400 million dollars in grants and program services worldwide to make an immediate, positive impact on as many children as possible prior to Hurricane Katrina. Some children must travel a long way to get medical attention.
You can donate by visiting your local McDonald’s and making a donation in the RMHC Collection Canisters.
The Ronald McDonald House was founded by a Philadelphia resident in 1974 where the first house opened. There are more than 245 houses in 26 countries and more than 6,000 bedrooms worldwide are available for families every night. The name was selected for the house because of the corporation’s commitment and because of the Ronald McDonald clown being a symbol of happiness to children around the world.
For more information go to rmhc.org.