With a mission to provide a safe, secure and supportive home environment for seriously sick children and their families, the Ronald McDonald House is a much needed and valued facility (www.rmhc.org.au).
It is widely known that Ronald McDonald Houses offer support and hope to families of sick children. By creating a homely environment, the houses allow for families to interact with one another. The Ronald MacDonald Houses are designed with communal kitchens, play rooms, lounge areas, laundries and playgrounds in addition to private bedrooms. The houses offer families child-friendly environments to ease the stress of being away from home. Bright and colourful murals, furnishings and toys remind any visitor that sick children deserve to be cheered up in a happy environment.
The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadephia, USA in response to a little girl who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1974. With the need to accommodate families in similar crisis, the Ronald MacDonald House charity was established. The name was chosen to represent Ronald who was known by children to be trustworthy, fun and happy (www.rmhc.org.au).
For any family who has to watch their child endure medical procedures, it is essential that there are times for fun and cheer. The burden of being away from home is enormous for families of sick children. This is why the charitable work of organizations such as Ronald McDonald House deserve acknowledgement and praise.
The houses often rely heavily upon volunteers who help with garden projects, preparing meals, cleaning, fund raising and making a difference in a child's life.
All parents desire for their children to lead healthy and happy lives. When unexpected illnesses rob children of health, a trip to the hospital can be a stressful experience. These stresses only accumulate when families are required to leave their towns and travel to hospitals in bigger cities.
Fortunately, hope is available for families of sick children through the support of Ronald McDonald Houses Australia. This year the charity celebrates thirty years of helping to brighten sick childrens' lives. Help and support has been offered to over 65, 000 families in Australia since the charity began.
Upon resting tonight, take a moment to remember about 270 families who will be sleeping away from home at a Ronald McDonald House (www.rmhc.org.au). Jesus' said, paraphrased, if you do such for one such as these you have done it for me.
Natalie Alexander is a primary school teacher from Cairns who has relocated to the Sunshine Coast.