RMHC RIchmond was founded on the belief that sick and critically-ill children should be able to receive the medical attention they need, alongside the support, love and care of their families; and that families are better equipped caregivers during these emotionally and financially challenging times when they have a safe and clean place to sleep and shower, healthy food to eat, a reliable way to get to the hospital, and feel that there is a community of support behind them. Our work is made possible thanks to support from a diverse community of volunteers, donors, and advocates who empower us to provide comfort and relief for families during their children's medical journeys. RMHC Richmond benefits from best practices, branding, and program designs generated by the combined heart and brainpower of 360 Ronald McDonald House Charities chapters around the world. At the same time, RMHC Richmond is an independent nonprofit chapter with a Richmond based board, and Richmond-specific programs driven by the needs of our community. All of RMHC Richmond’s funding is locally raised. Richmond’s RMHC chapter is unique in many ways: o For our service, we had a 99.25% satisfaction rating by families in 2018 o We were the 16th Chapter, and the first to be formed without the backing of a professional sports team. o We have the first RMHC Sibling Center in the world. o As one of two bases of the World Pediatric Project, we host families in our House from countries around the world. o In addition to our 9-bedroom House on Monument Avenue which has been open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day 7 days a week since 1980, we have an expanding suite of in-hospital programs that serve mainly local families. These programs evolved due to hospital demand, and to the distance between our House and our nearest hospital partner (over 3 miles). In 2018 we served families from 8 countries and territories, 25 states and 72 counties in Virginia in House which provides a fully stocked kitchen, warm dinners and weekend breakfasts, security, ESOL services, free laundry, activity nights, hospitality access to local museums and YMCA, internet, cable, toys and holiday celebrations. We provide comfort and support for families from all 10 area hospitals and medical facilities including: Children's Hospital of Richmond at Brook Road, The Children's Pavilion at CHoR, Cumberland Hospital, Henrico Doctors, Hope Therapy, Johnston Willis, Pediatric Associates of Richmond, St. Mary's Bon Secours, VCU, and VTCC. We also provide transportation for families to and from the hospital. In 2018, this totaled 664 trips to all 10 area hospitals. At the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and St. Mary's we also provided: o Access to 5 in-hospital RMHC Family Sleep Rooms (for families with children in intensive care) o 6,857 deliveries of toiletries, snacks, activities and small comforts to pediatric and neonatal floors on our Happy Wheels carts o 1,989 visits to the RMHC Sibling Center o 7,530 nutritious Lunches with Love Our current House is regularly at capacity -- and in 2018, we sponsored 218 overflow nights at area hotels.
Lunches with Love
Volunteers prepare healthy lunches that include: sandwiches, snacks and fruit on a daily basis at Richmond's Ronald McDonald House, which we deliver to pediatric families at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit families at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. This relieves the financial burden from the families who are focusing on their child who is receiving medical care -- and for many families who are too distracted or concerned to step away from their child's bedside.
Through the Happy Wheels program, trained RMHC Richmond volunteers and staff push hospitality carts stocked with snacks, drinks, toiletries, activities, and toys through hospital hallways visiting families and patients on pediatric floors at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and Bon Secours St. Mary's. For many families these small comforts provide huge relief during long hours in the hospital with uncertain outcomes. We have increased runs over the past three years due to in-hospital demand -- and are always looking for new volunteers.
RMHC Family Sleep Rooms
RMHC Richmond offers access to 5 total private sleep rooms located within Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and St. Mary's Hospital for families of the most critically ill children. These rooms are steps away from the PICU and offer a place to rest and regroup. When families walk into a Ronald McDonald Family Room, we want them to forget they are in a hospital.
RMHC Sibling Center
The RMHC Sibling Center is located in the outpatient Children’s Pavilion at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU -- and is the first partnership of its kind in the world. Staffed by hospital Child Life specialists and trained RMHC Richmond volunteers, and stocked by RMHC Richmond supply drives, the Sibling Center was created to reduce stress and inspire fun by providing safe, developmentally appropriate environment for brothers and sisters of children receiving care in the Children’s Pavilion. The RMHC Sibling Center offers age appropriate play, arts and crafts, and hands on learning opportunities. If you interested in enrolling your child, please visit: chrichmond.org/SiblingCenter and complete the enrollment form.
Ronald McDonald House
Since 1980, Richmond's Ronald McDonald House has provided "a home-away-from-home" and support services for up to 9 families a night whose children are receiving medical care in Richmond, referred by social workers at all 10 area hospitals. The House is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with on-site, awake staff. We provide a fully stocked kitchen, warm dinners and weekend breakfasts, security, ESOL services, free laundry, activity nights, hospitality access to local museums and YMCA, internet, cable, toys and holiday celebrations. We also provide transportation for families to and from the hospital. We received a 99% satisfaction rating from the families we served, and had a 88% House occupancy rate in 2018. On some months our occupancy was as high as 115% -- meaning that we ended up sponsoring a total of 218 overflow nights to area hotels to continue to help families in urgent need of a place to stay while their children received treatment.