Growth and Expansion at Ronald McDonald House New York

Serving families in Hospitals across NYC 

Ronald McDonald House New York (RMH-NY) continues to expand its reach, providing essential support to families with children undergoing medical treatment in hospitals across NYC. This growth is driven by our commitment to health equity, ensuring that families from underserved areas have access to the resources they need during challenging times. Our Family Rooms, hospitality carts, and PrograMS-to-go/bedside programs are at the forefront of this mission, creating a comforting environment for families and alleviating some of the stress associated with their child's medical journey. 

One of the most heartwarming aspects of our expansion is witnessing the direct impact on families. Here are three recent stories that exemplify the difference our programs make in the lives of those we serve. 

Ronald McDonald Family Room Snapshots 

A Special Gift for a NICU Family 

During the holiday season last year, Ronald McDonald Family Room at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst received a generous donation of toys and an infant car seat. Recognizing the importance of this resource, the Family Room team decided to set the car seat aside for a family truly in need. They informed Jewel, a dedicated social worker who works closely with NICU families, about this special gift and asked her to send them a family that could truly benefit from the car seat when that family came along. 

Last week, Jewel approached the team with an urgent request. A couple in the NICU was in desperate need of resources, and it happened to be the father’s birthday. The timing was perfect. The team connected with the couple and were able to make the father's birthday extraordinary by gifting them the infant car seat. This simple act of kindness not only provided the family with a critical resource but also brought joy and relief during a challenging time. 

 

Celebrating Joshua Jr.'s NICU Graduation 

Joshua Jr. spent over a month in the NICU, and during this period, his mother Blair became a regular visitor to the Elmhurst Family Room. This space became her sanctuary, offering solace and a much-needed break from the clinical environment. Blair found comfort in enjoying a cup of tea and a light meal, which helped her maintain her strength and spirit. 

One memorable event was our Cinco De Mayo celebration, where Blair participated in our fishbowl toss game and emerged as a big winner. She said that the game provided a welcome distraction and made the waiting time more bearable. The Family Room became more than just a physical space for Blair; it was a source of emotional support and community. 

Joshua Jr.'s NICU graduation was a significant milestone. Seeing him healthy and ready to go home was a moment of immense joy for Blair and everyone involved. The Family Room played a crucial role in supporting Blair during Joshua Jr.'s stay, highlighting the importance of such spaces in hospitals. 

 

Muhammad's NICU Journey 

Muhammad's stay in the Elmhurst NICU was brief but intense. His parents, Abdullah and Kanij, found our Family Room to be a lifesaver. They spent most of their time in the hospital, only leaving to shower and eat. The Family Room provided them with a quiet space to relax and momentarily escape the medical setting. 

Abdullah was particularly grateful for the Family Room. He expressed his appreciation by bringing chocolates as a token of gratitude upon their discharge. For Abdullah and Kanij, the Family Room was more than just a place to rest; it was a refuge that helped them cope with the stress of their son's medical situation. 

Before leaving the Family Room for final time, Abdullah took a moment to leave his thoughts about the Elmhurst Family Room:

 "Perfect place for the parents to hang around. This place feels safe and relaxing. Jen and Manishi have been very helpful and kind towards me and my wife. Just showing up for a job is not all. There are much more things we can do to share love and comfort to our society. Jen and Manishi are the perfect example of that."

A quick shout out to Manishi, who is one of our brilliant volunteers at the Elmhurst Family Room.

If you or someone you know are looking for new ways to impact your local community and feel you would be a great fit to volunteer at one of our new Family Rooms opening this year at Montefiore and Metropolitan Hospitals, send them to the RMH-NY website. We would love to have you on our team!

These story snapshots are just a few examples of how RMH-NY's programs make a tangible difference in the lives of families. Our commitment to expanding these services ensures that more families can benefit from the comfort and support we provide. 

 

 

The Expansion of Ronald McDonald House New York 

Family Rooms and More 

Our Family Rooms at NYC Health + Hospitals at Kings County and Elmhurst serve as models for our growth. Located near the pediatric wings, these rooms allow caregivers to prioritize their child's health and well-being. They offer a place for families to relax, eat, and gather their thoughts away from the medical setting. The impact of these rooms is evident in the stories of families like Blair's and Abdullah's 

In addition to Family Rooms, RMH-NY has introduced hospitality carts and bedside programs to support families directly in their child's hospital room. These initiatives bring essential items, activities, and emotional support to families who may not be able to leave their child's bedside. 

The first two family rooms have made such a tremendous impact on the hospitals and communities where they live that three more family rooms are on the precipice of opening this year at three more partnering hospitals around NYC including NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, and Montefiore.  

Opening of Ronald McDonald Family Room Elmhurst In 2022.

Each family room is uniquely designed to fit the needs of the families at the hospital in which it services. Some family rooms operate from 9 am-5 pm, seven days a week while others will offer 24-hour accommodation with sleeping quarters on the premises to house families in need. Some family rooms are in rooms converted and directly across from the hospital’s NICU while others will live outside of the hospital, across the street from the pediatric wing to serve as living quarters.  

 

Hospitality Carts: Bringing Comfort to Hospital Rooms 

 

Our hospitality carts are filled with snacks, beverages, and small comfort items like blankets and toiletries. They are designed to provide immediate relief and comfort to families. Volunteers deliver these carts to hospital rooms, offering a moment of care and attention to parents and caregivers. 

The response to our hospitality carts has been overwhelmingly positive. Families appreciate the convenience and thoughtfulness of having these resources delivered directly to them. It’s a small gesture that makes a significant impact, providing comfort and showing that they are not alone. 

 

Programs-to-go/Bedside Programs 

Our programs-to-go include activities and resources tailored to the needs of hospitalized children and their families. These programs range from arts and crafts to educational materials and emotional support sessions. They are designed to engage children in meaningful activities and provide parents with tools to support their child's emotional well-being. 

The Programs Team at Ronald McDonald House New York is comprised of some of the most authentically creative humans on the planet.  

Imagine enjoying a program that is usually conducted in our 2nd floor playroom by one of our creative and educationally driven program staff members every Wednesday at 5 pm. Let’s call this week’s program ‘Incredible Hulk Slime Recipe’. 

The children of the House gather for one hour and learn how to make some ooey gooey green slimy stuff with the help of our programs teachers and staffers and they get to do it with all the ingredients in the moment with all that help and 10 times out of 10, they have an absolute blast. 

Now, take away the playroom, the teachers, the creative space to play, the hour dedicated to creating the perfect slime, but bottle all that into a 4x6 inch plastic bag with instructions on the back, all the supplies inside an easily delivered program-to-go.  

It shouldn’t work, but the genius minds in programs at RMH-NY have pulled off an unbelievable feat. Look. Introducing the ‘Incredible Hulk Slime Recipe’ ready to ship to any amazing 8 – 12-year-old in one of RMH-NY’s many partnering hospitals around NYC who can’t leave their hospital beds, but deserve to have fun and educational ways to pass their time while in treatment. 

 The Incredible Hulk Slime Recipe 

Other current programs-to-go include: 

  • Dotted Flower Garden 
  • Spring Garden Magnets 
  • Create Your Own Stoplight 
  • How to Make Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Slime 
  • Community Art Mural
  • Fall Scarecrow Scene
  • Origami Paper Cranes
  • Autumn Pocket Journal

And so many more pre-packaged, traveling creations all meant to entertain and educate. 

 Programs-To-Go Image Gallery

 

The Future of RMH-NY: Expanding Our Reach 

RMH-NY's vision for the future includes reaching 30% more families year over year. This ambitious goal requires continued support from our community and partners. By expanding our Family Rooms, hospitality carts, and bedside programs, we can ensure that more families benefit from the comfort and support we offer.  

Our ongoing efforts to create health equity for all children with pediatric cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are at the heart of our mission. We believe that every family, regardless of their background, should have access to the resources they need during their child's medical journey. 

 

How You Can Help 

The growth and success of RMH-NY's programs are made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers. There are several ways you can get involved and make a difference: 

Donate: Your financial contributions directly support our Family Rooms, hospitality carts, and bedside programs. Every donation, no matter the size, helps us provide essential services to families in need. 

Volunteer: Our volunteers are the backbone of our programs. Whether it's helping with our hospitality carts, reading to children, or assisting in Family Rooms, there are many ways to get involved and support our mission. 

Spread the Word: Raising awareness about RMH-NY and our services helps us reach more families. Share our stories and initiatives with your network to help us grow our impact. 

 

A Message of Gratitude 

We are immensely grateful for the support we receive from our community. Your contributions enable us to provide a haven for families during some of the most challenging times in their lives. Together, we can continue to expand our reach and ensure that no family faces their child's medical journey alone. 

Ronald McDonald House New York is committed to growing at the intersection of healthcare and hospitality. Our Family Rooms, hospitality carts, and programs-to-go/bedside programs are just the beginning. With your help, we can be there for more families, offering comfort, support, and a sense of community when they need it most. 

Join us in making a difference in the lives of families across NYC. Your support helps us bring hope and healing to those who need it the most. 


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