Ronald McDonald house impacts Kansas City

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Audrey Meisner

The Ronald McDonald (RMH) house has been helping families all around the US since 1963. In Kansas City, all 87 rooms are filled just about every night.

The Kansas City location is right down the street from Children’s Mercy South. Ronald McDonald house helps kids of all ages.

Mike Jeffries has been with Ronald Mcdonald House for 2 and half years. Jeffries started in the journalism industry but of a decline in the industry caused him to go to the Ronald McDonald house. Jefferies said, “I found a job in the nonprofit world that you know allowed me to have a career and make a living off of but also do some good in the community” Ronald McDonald House has been helping families since 1963. There doors are open 365 days a year 24 hours a day for anyone that needs assistance.

Jefferies is the Direct of Development at RMH. He said that he enjoys his job and even explains how it pushes him. He said that his job is special because not only are you getting a paycheck but “it is also about you being able to make an impact on people’s lives at a time that they really need it.”

Working with these families can be rewarding for the employees at Ronald Mcdonald. They are able to gain something other than money while helping the families within the home get back on their feet.

Ronald McDonald is not funded by the government. “We are supported all by individual and corporate donations,” said Jefferies. The home is supported with 1600 volunteer positions and 19 full time employees along with the 25 part time employees.

Ronald McDonald House supports families whenever they need them. The families that check in are allowed to stay until their child is well again. Jefferies said, “Sometimes families stay with us for one night while maybe they come up while they [kids] get their treatment and they go back home and they might come back in two weeks for another night or two but we also have had families that stay with us for more than a year.”

Students at West have gone to volunteer at Ronald Mcdonald House. Senior Nicole Taylor assisted the home at the end of 2017. She went with the FCCLA club at West. While they were at the house, Taylor said they cooked a meal for the family and got a tour of the house.

It was fun and a good experience and it felt nice to be able to serve the families who were staying there,” said Taylor. Taylor shares some of the valuable life lessons that she learned while volunteering. You are around kids that are going through a rough time with their health. Taylor said she is, “ thankful for my health and my family’s health.” You don’t always realize how lucky your family is to be in good health.

From a twitter pole off of LSW Online, around 83% of students admit that they are more likely to volunteer during the holiday season rather than the beginning of the new year. Jefferies states, “It is the time in which people are feeling the most generous, it is the time when people are thinking about giving back, and because of that people are willing to volunteer their time and looking to donate money.”

Telina Shepherd stayed at the Ronald McDonald house for 5 and half months while waiting for her premature baby to become strong. Shepherd states, “The RMH allowed me to focus on my son while he was in the NICU.” She was able to put aside the cost of hotels and travel costs to focus her undivided attention to her sick son.

For her, the house was very easy to get into because of a recommendation letter she got from her doctor. She was able to spend most of her day at the hospital and go home that evening. “I would return back at the RMH around 6pm for a wonderful dinner supplied and cooked by volunteers.” Without the help of those volunteers, Shepherd said she would not have been able to make her schedule so flexible.

The Ronald McDonald House has made a huge impact on families all around the nation. Without the help of this organization, some families would be left in situations where they wouldn’t have anywhere to stay. Shepherd said, “We are forever grateful and thankful for the staff and volunteers at the RMH.  Without their support and generosity we may not have been able to be with our son as frequently.”

 

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