The Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis opened a brand-new 3,000 square-foot Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in March 2018. This is the fourth Family Room in the St. Louis area and the second located at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
The organization is also in the process of renovating the original Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which will reopen later this summer and specifically serve families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
There is also a Ronald McDonald Family Room located inside SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and one inside Mercy Children’s Hospital in Creve Coeur. Last year, the Ronald McDonald Family Room Program served 12,318 families and had 86,502 individual visitors. The non-profit anticipates serving approximately 5,000 more families this year thanks to the additional Family Room now being open.
What makes the Ronald McDonald Family Room Program unique is the fact that it serves both local and out-of-town families, whereas families who utilize the three St. Louis-area Ronald McDonald Houses must live at least 50 miles away or more. Each Ronald McDonald Family Room is open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and they are staffed by a pool of more than 350 volunteers.
The Family Rooms are an “oasis within the hospital,” because they provide the essentials of home, just steps away from a child’s hospital room. These special spaces offer small kitchens stocked with complimentary snacks and beverages, showers, laundry facilities, TV, Internet, games, toys and a quiet area to families of ill children.
One of the best features of the family rooms is the break it gives families. Typically, even families who live in St. Louis do not like to leave their children at the hospital to run home, even for a quick shower or to do a load of laundry, and this is especially true for families whose children are critically ill. Because the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are located within the hospitals, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents can take a much-needed break while only being down the hall or an elevator ride away.
The Dana Brown Charitable Trust continues to support organizations like the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Trust honors the legacy of St. Louis entrepreneur, philanthropist and adventurer Dana Brown. For the last 24 years, the Dana Brown Charitable Trust has continued Dana Brown’s personal mission to share his self-made fortune to enrich the lives of fellow St. Louisans.
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