One of our treasured services has reached a major milestone. Fifteen years ago this week, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana opened the first Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Fort Wayne at Parkview Hospital Randallia. The first RMH featured 2,800 square feet and 6 guestrooms. In November of 2012, the Ronald McDonald House at Parkview relocated to the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus on the main floor of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The space as it is today features nearly 11,000 square feet and 15 guestrooms, thanks to an expansion in May of 2015. The RMH also offers families large, comfortable gathering spaces, laundry and a full kitchen offering snacks and meals.
It’s amazing to think that, since 2002, the Ronald McDonald House has been home to more than 12,000 families. For parents of seriously ill or injured children, the space is a place to step away from their worries for a little while, grab a shower, hot meal or some much needed rest, all while being just a short walk from their child. Families draw support from each other, and from the caring staff and volunteers who help them through a truly difficult time in their lives.
The Ronald McDonald House at Parkview serves the families of all dependent children 21 and under and is available at absolutely no charge to the guest families. Ours is one of the largest in-hospital houses and a testament to Parkview’s commitment to family centered care. The most significant on-going fundraiser is the donation box program through our local McDonald’s restaurants. Last year alone, the change dropped into the boxes of our 48 local stores raised over $125,000! We also receive funds from Ride RMHC, a charity cycling event held April 30, Rhinestone Rodeo, held the second Friday in September, and Team RMHC, our Fort4Fitness Charity partner team.
The Ronald McDonald House has a staff of four full-time employees who handle management of the RMH, special events, fundraising and program details. The additional staff made up of 103 volunteers help keep the house tidy, and welcome and assist guest families during their stay.