After retiring from the Utah Highway Patrol in 2008 I had several things I did on a part time basis, all of which I enjoyed. Then one day I found an opening at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City.
In all honesty, like many people I didn ’t really understand what exactly the House was all about. After reading the job description, I felt it was something I would enjoy doing because it was helping people. I applied and after getting hired I realized it is an amazing and much needed program. I felt extremely lucky to be able to provide a little piece of mind to families that travel from all over the globe to visit our hospitals in Utah. I came to realize that we have some amazing medical healthcare facilities right here in Utah that are well respected across this country and the world. The Ronald McDonald House gives families a place to stay close to the hospitals at little or no cost, so parents can concentrate on what matters most – the care of their child.
Every day we see children healing faster and coping better because they’re surrounded by their families. And while RMHC may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much needed treatment, we help lessen the burden for thousands of families each and every year. Since 1988, we have helped families to stay close – in a place that feels like home – at our Ronald McDonald House and Ronald
McDonald Family Rooms. We provide stability and resources so families can keep their child healthy and happy.
Ronald McDonald House
Many families travel far from home and spend several days, weeks or months getting treatment for their seriously ill or injured child – it’s a long time to be away or to divide a family. And, for children facing a serious medical crisis, nothings seems scarier than not having mom and dad close by for love and support. A Ronald McDonald House is a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close to their hospitalized child.
Our house is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. We believe that when a child is hospitalized the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. Our staff and volunteers are trained to focus heavily on the guest experience and to do anything they can to reduce the stress they are going through. Staying at the Ronald McDonald House helps preserve a sense of normalcy with comfortable beds, home-cooked meals and recreational activities for the family. Most importantly, our House is filled with love, support and compassion.
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms
When families walk into our Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, we want them to forget they’re in a hospital. Just steps away from their child’s bedside, Family Rooms offer a place for parents to relax and regain their own strength right at the hospital, moments away from their sick child. The Family Rooms are much like a comfortable and cozy family room at home. They have sitting areas with TV, a stocked kitchen so families can relax and cook, computers to stay on top of their daily lives, rooms to take a nap or even stay overnight, showers and laundry facilities with everything supplied that they might need.
The Family Rooms allow families to be together, always near their loved one, to help ease their pain, lift up their spirits and overcome their illness. Research shows that a family presence in the hospital helps children heal faster and cope better. The Family Room provides a comfort and resource to families each day who live in the local community and don’t need to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
How you can help
There are so many ways to get involved. You can volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House or the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at either Primary Children’s Hospital or Ogden Regional Medical Center. We rely heavily on our volunteers, they are amazing. You can Adopt-A-Meal, collect pop tabs, hold wish list drives, fundraisers and work on other much needed projects. The nice thing is you can do many of these things living outside of the Salt Lake Area.
Your support will directly impact the lives of families experiencing one of life’s most heart-rending moments. Through your involvement, you can give families the ability to spend more precious time together – this means more hugs, more kisses and more “I love you’s.” This has been shown to be very healing. I am excited to be a part of a charity that provides so much compassion and care for families in need. If you’re looking for some way to give back and to have a positive impact, I hope you will consider getting involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities. None of us ever know when or if we will be in need of a charity like this. Be careful out there and make sure that you all go home every night to your families safely.
For more information, please visit www.ronaldmcdonaldhouseutah.org or call 801-363-4663.