WHAT IS THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE?
Life changes in a moment, sometimes forever, when a family learns of their child's critical medical condition. The Ronald McDonald House is there to help ease the financial and emotional burdens when a child is hospitalized. It also helps provide access to the critical care needed and enables families to be together every step of the way during their health crisis.
Families will have a free, private, and safe place to stay, as well as a community of support, meals, daily essentials, laundry and transportation. When they don't want to be anywhere else but by their child's hospital bedside, the Ronald McDonald House Shreveport-Bossier will be there - they will never have to feel alone and isolated.
Families who are not staying overnight also need a break from the hospital to collect their thoughts. Hospital social workers will provide a “day pass” to families with the greatest need. They will be able to freshen up with a shower, wash a load of laundry, grab a snack, savor a cup of coffee and quiet moments before returning to the hospital.
No sick child should be alone, and no family should be separated during this time. Thanks to those who will help build the Ronald McDonald House, it will be a place of comfort, care, and hope. Families will not have to worry about their ability to afford a hotel, meals, daily essentials or most importantly not being with their child.
All services at the Ronald McDonald House are provided free of charge to families thanks to donors like you.
WHY THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE IS NEEDED HERE
Extensive research was conducted regarding the need for a Ronald McDonald House in Shreveport-Bossier. Medical professionals identified four primary needs for pediatric patient families - lodging, food, daily essentials, and transportation.
In their experience, many families could only be there for their child’s surgery but could not stay with them long term due to the expense of being away from home for days, weeks or months. In a typical year, 83% of families served by a Ronald McDonald House self-identify as low-income, although financial status is not a criterion used for admission to the House. Families of the most critical patients will be referred to the Ronald McDonald House by their hospital social worker.
During research interviews, some families shared that they simply could not seek treatment for their child without financial aid, and some said that without free lodging and meals, their child would not have had access to the care they required to survive. Some families said they slept in their car in the hospital parking lot because they could not afford a hotel.
GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY
Ronald McDonald House Shreveport-Bossier will positively impact families and the community while improving access to healthcare for children. Once open, we estimate the annual operating budget at $654,000, and a commercial impact in the community of $1.168 million each year.
An estimated 24,090 adults and children will utilize the House annually - some will stay for only a few nights while others will stay for several weeks or months depending upon their child’s treatment. An additional 5,400 will visit for a “day pass” respite.
The impact of a critical diagnosis for a child differs for every family. One thing we know for sure – every day there are families who are unable to be at their child’s bedside due to financial and transportation hardships. The Ronald McDonald House will help alleviate both of these critical issues.
Thank you for choosing to build Ronald McDonald House Shreveport-Bossier which will help tens of thousands of children and their families for decades. Every donation helps. Email Emily at Emily@rmhcarkansas.org if you'd like to be involved.