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Approachable ways to help out your local Ronald McDonald House, including your young children

If you don't already know it, we are hosting a Kindness Week this week, where all through the week on Instagram we are sharing approachable ways to make a big impact on others. Check it out here.

For day 4 we are making and delivering kits to Ronald McDonald House! Ronald McDonald House alleviates the worry and expense of finding a close, comfortable and affordable place for a family to stay while their child receives the medical care they need. At their three Houses adjacent to Children’s Mercy Hospital and Ronald McDonald Family Room, they create places of respite where families can rally around and support one another. That can make a world of difference to a child bravely battling an illness or recovering from a serious injury. It costs RMHC-KC $100 a night to house a family. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City (RMHC-KC) is to reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families. We accomplish this by:

  • Providing comfortable lodging convenient to local healthcare facilities

  • Creating a caring and uplifting environment

  • Undertaking resource and fund development activities that support our facilities, programs, and services

There are 368 Ronald McDonald Houses in 64 countries. These accommodate families with hospitalized children, who are being treated at nearby hospitals and medical facilities. Ronald McDonald Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $700 million in lieu of hotel costs.

There are currently 214 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in 24 countries. These rooms accommodate over 3,000 families each day who live in the community and do not need or do not meet the prescribed criteria to stay at a Ronald McDonald House. There are currently 50 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles in nine countries. These mobile clinics offer health care for children in their own neighborhoods at no cost to the families. The program serves more than 100,000 children a year and saves families in the US $10 million in medical and dental costs each year.

Luckily - There are several low-cost, low-effort ways to help your local Ronald McDonald house. Flynn, Wilder, and I chose to make kits for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House Kansas City. We chose to make protein pack kits because we felt they are one of the top needed items for the families, and still aligned with our personal family values of only putting nourishing, healthy food into our bodies. Here are several options for you to help out Ronald Mcdonald house.

  • Start by finding your local chapter by clicking here. Once you click on that find the "how you can help" tab, or the "volunteer" tab. There they have listed tons of great ways to help. but Below I will list some of my favorites.

1) Create Quick Meal Kits. They suggest each kit contains 3-5 items but it's really up to you, anything helps. Meal kits can include anything you want but some of the items suggested are tuna meal packets, shelf-stable microwavable meals, and cup-o-noodles. Protein packs with protein bars, trail mix, beef jerky, etc are also an option. The third type of meal kit that is needed is a breakfast meal kit, including things like breakfast biscuits, oatmeal cups, protein shakes, etc.

2) Create Self-care kits. Families are in need of adult and newborn self-care kits. The adult kits can include things like toiletries, travel mug, fuzzy socks. skincare, headphones etc. Gender specific items in each kit is great if possible. The newborn kits can include newborn clothing, baby toiletries, diaper rash cream, baby hats and socks, pacifiers, etc.

3) Possibly the easiest and fastest way to make a big impact is to grab something off of Ronald Mcdonald house wish list. This link provides the Kansas City chapter wish list but you should be able to easily find your local wish list on the website specific to your local chapter.

4) Another equally easy yet impactful option is to shop through Amazon Smile and choose Ronald Mcdonald house as your charity. When shopping through Amazon Smile, it's the same cost to you, but Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase to your selected charity. Amazing right?! Check that out here.

5) Provide meals for the families, in-person or via delivery. Gather a group of coworkers, family members, friends, or other community members and volunteer in our Houses at our downtown campus or our Family Rooms to support the families we serve. Schedule an opportunity when you’re available or on an ongoing basis at one of our 5 locations or just a one-time thing. If you don't have the time available to serve but would like to provide meals, contact your local chapter and ask if you can make the meals and drop them off.

6) Help support families through the pop tab program. I don't know if you have the same carbonated water addiction issue that I do, but if you do, this could be a very low-effort way to make an impact. collect the tabs and drop them off at your local chapter. After that, a local recycler buys the tabs at market rate and makes an additional charitable contribution. This can also be done with old house keys!

7) If you have the capacity, sign up to be a volunteer. They have lots of different volunteer opportunities. "We have many group opportunities to make breakfast, brunch lunch, and dinner in our four locations or groups can assist with campus-wide cleaning projects as Household Helpers. Throughout the year there are also opportunities for individuals and groups to volunteer to support Special Events. Our opportunities for individual volunteers include committing to a weekly 4-hour shift for 6 months to a year."

There are even more ways to help them out listed on your local chapter's website so be sure to check that out if non of these options resonate with you. HAPPY IMPACTING!


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