Written by Amy Andrews
The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte is a well-known institution, beloved for its mission to provide a safe, caring and affordable home-away-from-home for families with children receiving care in local medical facilities.
Despite the pandemic, RMH of Charlotte has kept its doors open since March 17th when most things shut down. According to Kristin Young, Associate Director of Advancement for RMHC, “We have been and will continue to be here to house families whose children are sick or injured.”
RMH of Charlotte relies greatly on volunteers and suspending in person volunteering has been a tremendous loss. “It has honestly been all hands on deck for staff,” added Young. “We truly miss our volunteers, but obviously need to limit exposure for our families.” RMH of Charlotte has recently added a few of their most regular day-to-day house operations volunteers, but they are still functioning with incredibly reduced manpower.
In normal circumstances, RMH of Charlotte has a packed group volunteer calendar with helpers who prepare cookies and snacks as well as a full dinner for families seven days a week. In lieu of having volunteers into the House to prepare food, readers are encouraged to become “meal heroes.” The House is asking for donations of catered meals or gift certificates and readers can contact Darrell McGill to coordinate.
Each year at this time, RMH of Charlotte creates an on-site holiday shop. “When families are dealing with an ill child, they simply do not have the time or resources to go out shopping for gifts,” shared Young. “We decided that COVID is not going to stop this House tradition and have instead made our holiday shop virtual.” Families have been filling out online surveys and volunteers are in turn filling their “orders.” Those who would like to support the holiday shop can do so directly by purchasing holiday gifts from the RMH of Charlotte wish list. Young added, “The wish list is a fun way for people to get involved in making our families’ holidays brighter from the safety of their own homes. People don’t often think about the fact that we have a lot of teens, not just babies and toddlers, so gifts such as sports equipment, make-up or art kits are always a huge hit.” Readers can purchase items from the wish list throughout the month of December.
Another current way to support RMH of Charlotte is through their Take A Load Off - #WringInTheHolidays campaign. “Many of our families come to the House with just the clothes on their backs,” lamented Young. “Our house laundry facilities are completely free to families and we launder everything from clothing to linens.” Readers can give today by texting LAUNDRY to 41444.
“We are so thankful for our Charlotte community,” said Young. “We understand that this has been a hard year on everyone and we remain here serving families. The Charlotte community is amazing and we feel honored to be a part of the good that is going on today in 2020 when it can be so hard to give back.”DID YOU KNOW: You can VOTE NOW for Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte to win December’s #SpotlightOnCLT $5,000 prize courtesy of the Amy and Brian France Foundation!