Tami’s Blog: Recent Bright Spots

Published Nov. 3, 2021

It’s been a tough year—year and a half? almost two years? (I’m losing track!) —for everyone. Things are tough still for our RMHC-KC families and for our staff. Not to mention our army of dedicated volunteers—who have been coming back in small, vaccinated groups to help us out in person again, and thankfully, have been patient as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our families.

No question, it’s been a struggle at times for me to stay positive and help guide our employees and families—not to mention, my own family at home. And while I don’t want to minimize the struggle and the challenge of the last many months, I was thinking recently that there have also been some real bright spots to celebrate over the past few months, and those feel just as important to acknowledge:

  • The new four-bedroom Ronald McDonald Family Room at Overland Park. We expect it to open in January!

Overland Park Regional Medical Center COO Matt Sogard, me, and JE Dunn Midwest President Paul Neidlein in our new Family Room space!

  • The 40th Anniversary of RMHC-KC, which we’ll celebrate all year long.
  • People continuing to donate meals to our family, including one donor you may have heard of—Whit Merrifield, who brought in Q39 Barbecue!
  • The seven-bedroom Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children’s Mercy, which had been repurposed as a recharging spot for hospital staff, just opened back up for the use of ICU families.
  • Our continued partnership with area hotels to offer families a separate space if needed.
  • An exciting new space opening soon inside our Bernstein House … more details to come!
  • Round-Up for RMHC at McDonald’s, a very successful program that offers a small, easy way you can help our families when you’re in the drive-through.
  • This past September’s Red Friday, which raised over $900,000! Thanks to everyone who bought a Chiefs’ flag—because of your support, we’ve been able to continue to rent hotel rooms and buy restaurant meals for our families.
  • Our new therapy dog Benson, who seems to have ESP and can read whether someone wants to play or not. When his therapy vest goes on, he’s ready to work! Whether it’s playing with a ball or just snuggling, Benson has been a source of joy for our families. We’re so lucky to have him!
  • Our Serenity Garden, which opened during COVID and has provided a peaceful outdoor space for our families, complete with water features, butterflies, picnic benches and inspirational quotes throughout, like one of my favorites: “A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.”

These bright spots have served as a good reminder of just how proud I am of us as an organization and some of the creative ways we’ve weathered these past months: we’ve found new ways to serve families and now feel more prepared knowing that whatever life throws at us, we can prove we can do it.

Best of all, our community continues to trust in our mission and continues to provide the financial support that allows us to serve our families.

As we come upon the season of giving, there’s something equally important that I’d like to ask each of you to do: tell someone you read this today, and that RMHC-KC is still going strong. Help us spread the love that continues to sustain our families. The brightest spot of all is the support of people like you.