04 Dec Tami’s Blog: More of What Matters Most
Last month we announced that we are going to expand and transform the current Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Children’s Mercy Kansas City and turn it into a Ronald McDonald House! We are so excited to soon serve more families of ICU patients in an improved space, better equipped to meet their needs. Here are a few highlights:
-The House will be open 24/7 for families with children in one of Children’s Mercy’s intensive care units (ICUs)
-We are redoing the entire space to add 3 bedrooms. The current Family Room has 7 very small bedrooms, but the new House inside the Hospital will have 10 larger and improved bedrooms. This will enable families to stay in the same bedroom for multiple days rather than one day at a time.
-We will also have 3 full bathrooms and TRIPLE the current laundry space! Laundry is one of the things that our guest families need and appreciate the most.
-We will continue to need volunteer groups to come in and make meals for our guest families, so stay tuned for the announcement that the new House is open and ready for your help!
You may be thinking, wait – what’s wrong with the current RMHC-KC space inside Children’s Mercy? And the answer is nothing is “wrong!” We just can do better!
We have been operating that Ronald McDonald Family Room inside CMH since 1995 – nearly 30 years! And the common spaces (kitchens, respite areas) have only been open 12 hours a day. In this NEW, 10-bedroom House, we will offer more and better access.
I always say this space is sacred – when your child is in the ICU, possibly fighting for their life, you need to step away from their bedside to collect yourself and allow yourself a moment to breathe. Sort of like on an airplane, when you must put your oxygen mask on first to help others … or you’ll be no help at all. RMHC-KC is often that oxygen mask for families, and we are so excited to be that oxygen mask for MORE families.
As with every expansion, this will have to be “in process” for about 7 to 9 months, we think. We are crushed that the space will be temporarily unavailable while construction is underway. We are going to do everything in our power to still help families with seriously ill children during this time; we’ll have rooms designated in our Ronald McDonald Houses for showering, laundry, food and other services. We will also provide food and support to families with kids in the ICUs.
We are honored to do this work, to serve families with sick children during the most important times in their lives. And we are looking forward to providing MORE: more rooms, more space, more services, more hours of the day, more respite, and more love. More families able to stay just steps from their child in the ICU. More of what matters most.