A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to volunteer and at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham with my co-workers and we collectively decided to bake cupcakes from scratch for all the residents currently residing there. The Ronald McDonald House of Durham opened it’s doors in 1980 and has served over 29,000 children and their families. The Ronald McDonald House of Durham provides a “home away from home” for families with sick children so they don’t have to worry about things like… Where they are going to sleep or what they are going to eat and can focus on the well being of their child. Whether a child is being treated for a short period of time or receiving long term medical treatment when you stay at the Ronald McDonald House you feel like your at home. There are private bedrooms, community spaces, play areas, fully stocked kitchen and home cooked meals that is supported by a dedicated network of other families, volunteers and staff. As a Girl Scouts employee I definitely understand the need for support from volunteers and pride myself in giving back to a variety of organizations as community service on a regular basis for social good.
Quick Facts: (Credit: Ronald McDonald House of Durham)
– The House welcomes up to 55 families each night
– Family stays vary from a single night to as long as a year
– It costs an average of $100 per night to house a family
– Families are asked to contribute $10-$15/night but are never turned away
– In 2012, they provided 760 families with more than 9,200 night stays
– 76% of families are from NC but, they also served families from 22 US States and four foreign countries in 2012.
– Last year the Family Rooms located at Duke University and WakeMed Children’s Hospitals hosted nearly 38,000 visitors.
– It takes more than 3,500 volunteer hours each month to keep things running.
– Each family that stays makes a tile to put on the ceiling at RMHD
What I learned when I was at the Ronald McDonald house was that during the year, the calendar of volunteers and donations is pretty steady but tends to slow down during the summer months. I can see that happening when families go away for summer vacation, students are out of college for the summer months, or Corporations and Groups take a summer break. You can help by donating items on their wish list and checking out the Ronald McDonald House of Durham website for immediate urgent needs. You also have the option of purchasing items from Amazon and having it shipped directly to the house. I think that’s really neat! There are many ways kids can help too, just a reminder that anyone 18 and under needs to have an adult accompany them at the house. Activities at the Ronald McDonald house include Taste of Home: You can prepare and serve a home cooked meal for families staying at RMHD. Bakers: Bake some of your favorite treats like we did for the RMHD residents. Activities: Plan a after dinner activity for families and friends at RMHD.
So, there are ways you can help from home aside from the wish list you can help with fundraising by collecting pop tabs for recycling. In 2012 nearly $17,000 was raised for RMHD from pop tabs. Holiday in a box is another way to volunteer by donating new holiday decorations for families to decorate their personal spaces for the holidays. Red Nose society is a great school fundraiser to raise funds for RMHD. Welcome Packs help new guests get settled when they arrive at RMHD, volunteers donate and put together toiletries that are necessary like toothbrushes, trial size shampoo. toothpaste etc. I think some of these opportunities are great for Girl Scout Troops to do as a troop activity and/or service project. So, if you find that you have some spare time on your hands this summer and would enjoy volunteering some time doing something you love, RMHD needs you! Check out some pictures of my day at RMHD baking eight dozen white cupcakes from scratch. We also donated Girl Scout Cookies and it was a really rewarding feeling. The residents were so friendly, inviting and genuinely appreciated what we were doing.
** Special thanks to Veronica Yoshida, Owner of Southern Gold Leaf Cakes for providing us with a special baking class to make yummy scratch made cupcakes for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham.**