Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provides accommodation for families of serious ill or injured children. At a Ronald McDonald House, families are provided with home-cooked meals, private bedrooms, and playrooms for children. By helping to serve and prepare meals at House, you can help a struggling and hurting family feel like home. Alternatively, you can also volunteer at a Ronald McDonald Family Room located near a pediatric or intensive care unit. Hospitals are especially in need of volunteers during the holiday seasons.
- Find a local Ronald McDonald House or Family Room near you. http://rmhc.org/who-we-are/chapter-search/, and then look for volunteer opportunities. http://rmhc.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/
- If you are volunteering at a House:
- Service opportunities include: maintenance projects (cleaning, gardening, etc.), answer phones, give tours to visitors, prepare bedrooms, help families get settled, provide directions to hospitals and doctors’ offices, bake, clean, organize the linen room, run errands, organize storage areas, restock supplies, and help decorate for special event.
- House Meal groups allows you to provide dinner or weekend brunches for 35-40 people. This can be a great project for youth in groups of six.
- A variation of the House Meal Groups is to be Meal Preparers. Here, you can prepare meals on-site or cook ahead and deliver to the House.
- If you are volunteering at a Family Room:
- You may need to complete a free two-hour training and health screening at the local hospital.
- The Family Room is usually open 12 hours on weekdays and 8 hours on weekends; volunteers usually work four-hour shifts.
- Work directly with families of critically ill children. Be compassionate and a good listener.
- Service opportunities include staff the check-in desk, prepare meals for the familiesplaytime with the children such as arts and crafts, movie nights, themed parties, Bingo, etc.
- Depending on the projects, get a group of volunteers to work with you.
- Take time to chat with the families. Offer to pray with/for them if they are open to it.
- The House Volunteer program requires a six-month commitment, three hours a week.
- Cleaning products, gardening tools, and supplies for maintenance projects are provided.
- Some projects are more suitable for youth groups. Check the volunteer page to confirm minimum age requirement and number of volunteers needed.
- Check with staff members and office volunteers about kitchen procedures, etc. Be respectful.