Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House
In A Nutshell:
Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House is like a friendly hotel (minimum charge if any) that allows families to remain close by their children receiving medical treatment (for seriously ill kids) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Why They Rock:
- To alleviate the financial burdens and stress involved in having a critically ill child, Ronald McDonald House offers families:
o A comfortable place to sleep; a private bedroom and bathroom
o Home-cooked meals
o Laundry and play rooms
o Shared living areas
o Computers with internet access
o Ongoing support from staff, volunteers and other families in similar circumstances
o Exercise and game rooms
o Outdoor play area
o Activities, such as games, crafts and theme parties
- In 2010, the House served (accommodations) 1,219 families from 49 states and 28 countries and recorded an average length of stay of 23 days.
- Pull Tab Collection: Program that recycles can (soda) tabs to support operating costs at each Ronald McDonald House; Cincinnati House raised more than $13,000 in 2009!
Let’s do the math: 23 days (average length of stay) X $79 (average hotel price near hospital) = $1,817 (without taxes)…not only does the Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House pick up the housing expenses, meals, and goodies – they provide a sense of community. Imagine going in for a bone marrow transplant for your 18 month old baby at the famous Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and having the support of 78 others families, a full-time staff, and volunteers…the House understands a LARGE family is part of the recovery.
Lisa my all-star contact (currently dominating two jobs at the House) set-up a great day under the command of Juiced-Up Jake, the guy has coffee in his veins – zest for life. Jake took me around for the granddaddy tour where I met Don, the volunteer of the century who has clocked in over 15,000 hours (yes, there zeros after 15)…he is legendary and makes 50Give look like the 9th grade co-ed spirit team.
First volunteer task was to move donated mega Ficus trees inside with the help of outgoing Ned, and we knocked over a flower pot in the process (first causality of the tour – sorry Ronald, I didn’t eat an Egg McMuffin for energy). After tree duty, I became Jake’s shadow and did a series of random tasks: moving refrigerators, cleaning, and delivery of cribs…I wish somebody was filming us trying to break-down a Graco playpen – two cavemen grunting with confused faces (sorry Geico guys).
I ended the day with Lisa preparing a secret arts and crafts project for all the moms in the house – kids will be creating personalized cards for Mother’s Day. We also were able to have some fun and give a release to kids with spontaneous dancing…check out the girl in the MJ hat bust her moves and the pig tail twirler!
I stayed at another Cincinnati House filled with animals and the coolest couple in the city (yes – I did a survey on facebook…so what if the couple voted)! Jody and Ben treated me to a tasty meal at Dewey’s Pizza (pizza joint has an outreach program called Dewmore), they performed a machete show (no – but they have a collection ready to trailblaze for Armageddon Day), and they let me chill with their dog Cassius and kitty Diego…I could write a book about these animals – the doggie followed me into the bathtub and the cat is a champion at battle-ramming anything (I didn’t toss that plant – ratted you out kitty)! When I wasn’t volunteering I had a chance to run around the peaceful and historic Shady Grove Cemetery, and then catch up on work at the Bow Tie Cafe, a hip coffee shop founded by high school buddy and Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones…the cafe’s goal is to create conversations to spark ideas in the name of positivity – 50Give needs to tow this cafe around North America with Cassisus and Diego in shotgun.
Cincinnati equaled positive community: Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Hospital, Ben & Jody’s Crib/Pet Paradise, and Bow Tie Cafe are all extending some type of support for positive change. 50Give’s community support is received every night from friends, strangers, and non-profits…back to the math: 135 nights (length of tour) X $60 (average price of hotel in U.S.) = $8,100 (minus taxes). I feel the warm hospitality love every day which allows me to spread the word about amazing non-profits, and hopefully you will feel this message: Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House creates a warm home away from home so families can focus on the most important thing: their children.
Pull Tab Donations:
“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.” Chinese Proverb