Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley recently launched a COVID Relief Plan to enable the organization to continue providing critical services to families experiencing medical crisis during this global pandemic. Through this plan the House, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, can provide immediate needs such as food and shelter to families with children receiving medical treatment at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla and other local pediatric medical facilities.
For almost a decade, Ronald McDonald House which is just steps away from the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center has provided a home away from home for more than 2,000 families with hospitalized children in critical condition, saving them over $5 million dollars in lodging and meal costs.
Even during a pandemic, children still get very sick or injured requiring medical care and families need support for that care may be far from home. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, when the House was forced to close its doors, the organization continued to help the families in need by providing accommodations offsite at local hotels and Airbnb homes to keep families close to their child and his/her medical care. The House also provides daily meals, snacks and personal care products for all the families and has continued to do so during this pandemic.
In July Ronald McDonald House re-opened to continue their mission of keeping families close, but with a number of limitations to assure the safety of everyone.
Ongoing COVID restrictions have led to a restricted number of volunteers permitted onsite, so all of the necessary things volunteers do for families – donating, preparing and serving meals – have stopped. The immediate needs that will be supported by the COVID Relief Plan will include continued support through ongoing programs, such as the: Meals that Heal program – to give families one less thing to worry about during their stay at the Ronald McDonald House; and providing personal protective equipment for staff and families.
In addition, there are new initiatives necessary to provide support during the changing times, including remote education resources (e.g., access to technology and broadband) for young students and their parents staying at the house and mental health support for staff and families. “The stress and uncertainty that we all experienced this year remind us of what families with critically ill children face every day,” said Anthony Trimarchi, RMHGHV Board Member. “The COVID Relief Plan will enable us to continue to support these families as we fully re-open our House in the upcoming months.”
Donations to the Ronald McDonald House COVID Relief Plan can be made at https://give.rmh-ghv.org/campaigns/16693-covid-relief-plan