Did you know that Wichita area hospitals care for hundreds of children each year for a wide variety of reasons: NICU, PICU, surgery, oncology, radiology, endocrinology, neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, urology, orthopedics, and child development. As if having to experience any of these services with your child isn’t enough stress already, can you imagine having to worry about meals and lodging as well? Many families are unsure of the amount of time they will need to spend in the hospital, and expenses pile up rather quickly.
Ronald McDonald House Charities strive to make this experience a bit easier on families who travel to Wichita for pediatric treatment by providing comfortable lodging and warm meals at little to no cost. Amy Forbes, Development Manager for RMHC Wichita, explains that guests are asked to donate a small fee towards the nightly lodging cost if able, but no one is turned away due to an inability to pay.
Ronald McDonald House of Wichita
1110 N Emporia; Wichita
email :: [email protected]
phone :: 316.269.4420
As one of many houses world wide, Wichita actually has two RMHC facilities at the moment: one at ViaChristi and one at Wesley. They are currently in the process of renovating ONE [much larger] space to combine the two. The new RMH is expected to open in 2019, and will have 20 guest rooms available to families of children receiving medical treatment in Wichita.
MISCONCEPTION :: Many believe there are stipulations as to who can utilize these services. ALL families are welcome! RMHC requires that each family has one child (age 0-21) receiving medical care, home of residence is 30+ miles from Wichita, a referral has been provided via medical professionals, and any family members staying at RMH must each pass a background check.
Live In House :: The live-in house is within walking distance of the hospital, and acts as a “hotel” to families of hospitalized children. A stay at the RMHC includes a private room (2 beds, bathroom, & shower), kitchen & laundry facilities, tv lounges, living rooms, an outdoor patio, and wi-fi access. Families are welcome to cook in the kitchen, and may also utilize/store items within the pantry. Hot meals are prepared and served by volunteers from community organizations multiple times weekly in the dining room at the house.
Hospital Family Room :: The RMH “Family Room” is located within the hospital. The purpose of this room is to provide a comfortable space for families to relax and unwind, outside of their hospital room. It includes snacks, drinks, comfortable lounging, and counter space to prep and/or serve meals. Laundry facilities are also available within the Family Room. Daily hours of operation are 8:30am to 8:30pm, as long as there is a volunteer supervisor available.
How to Stay :: If you have a child receiving care at a Wichita area hospital, please call Room Reservations to check availability & begin the registering process. 316.269.4420
PERSONAL DISCLAIMER :: Our family has experienced multiple surgeries with our son since his birth in 2015. We travel to Ohio to work with a surgical team of specialists, and without the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, his specific treatment plan never would have been an option for us. There are no words to describe just how incredible this organization is in time of need. Their staff went above and beyond for us each time we visited Ohio. Thank you, RMH, from the bottom of our hearts for your generous services and loving support.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Pull Tab Program :: More commonly known as “pop” tabs, these tiny pieces of metal are collected, recycled, and exchanged for dollars that are used to fund RMHC services. You can simply save the tabs yourself, or create a competition with friends to help raise money. Our family even collects tabs from friends and family for each of our kids’ birthdays, in lieu of gifts. Tabs may be dropped off at any time to the administrative office in Wichita.
Provide A Meal :: Call & schedule a time to prepare a meal for the families. This is fun to do with a group of friends. So next time you plan a girl’s night out, why not cook a meal for families in need?
3rd Party Fundraisers :: Do your kids like to raise money? Are you a party planner? Do you like organizing events? Golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, lemonade stands, jeans day, gift wrapping stations at Christmas…so many fun ideas to involve the whole family, and raise money for a wonderful charity!
In-House Volunteer :: Assist the house manager with various daily duties: answering the phone, organizing donations, cooking, cleaning, registering families. Must be 18. Training required.
Family Room Volunteer :: Volunteer within the Family Room at the hospital. Answer phones, log families in and out, check supplies, assist families. Must be 18. Training required. View the Family Room Schedule Here.
When I met with Amy, she stated that they are ALWAYS in need of more volunteers within the house and in the family room. This is a great position for retirees, as well as college students who need volunteer hours. It’s very low-key, has quite a bit of down time, and serves a wonderful purpose.
Ronald McDonald House Charities have forever changed our life. Our family has made it a point to give back to the organization we love so dearly by donating to our local chapter through fundraising, donations, & volunteering our time. I hope that you’ll join us!
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