By Francesca Deliso, Tricoci University in Chicago NE
Do you know what the Ronald McDonald House really is? Have you seen commercials about it and never really knew what it was exactly? Well, I was clueless! I attend Tricoci University-Harlem and was on student council. As a member, we were raising money and miscellaneous items for the Ronald McDonald House. It wasn’t until we had to bring all of the goods to the house, that I actually got to understand it all! The Ronald McDonald House IS REALLY A HOUSE! It looked like an old antique Chicago home built many, many years ago.
When we first arrived there, they told us to pull around the back. The garage was FILLED with canned goods, toilet paper, etc. We then asked if we can get a tour of the place! We took a tour, and it is basically like a bed and breakfast. Each room had its own key, bed, closet and dresser. There was also a room where there were lockers, and each locker had a label. They separated the items into each locker by alphabet. As the lockers ran low, they would go to the garage and gather more to refill them. When going back down to the main floor, there was a huge kitchen with three sinks, three stoves and a couple refrigerators. There were some people in the kitchen making something to eat. The other room had long kitchen tables for them to eat and a separate TV room. The lady said that no bedrooms have TVs. If they want to watch TV, they must hang out in the TV room together and bond! I then started asking tons of questions! What exactly is this place for? How did it come about? The lady who was giving us the tour, who is also a volunteer there, said that parents and patients from Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, that travel from far and/or cannot afford to get a hotel because of the huge expenses for their child, stay there. The Ronald McDonald House gives them a place to stay and people who donate provide the food and other necessities. I was amazed by it all! What a great place! I felt bad that I really didn’t know the history of this. The volunteer also said that the building has been bought and will be torn down, and they are building a nice new building for the Ronald McDonald House. She also gave us a little history on all that.
After leaving there that day, I was choked up! I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or if I was happy for what is provided to these people. On the way back to school, I went through the McDonalds drive thru. J When I got to the window to pay, I saw the slot for donations to the Ronald McDonald House and I put $5 in there. I don’t think I ever even paid attention before. When I went back to school, I told the head of student council that we definitely need to educate everyone on what exactly Ronald McDonald House really is because I’m sure much more people will donate. I wish I donated more, and I still can! And you can, too! All the information is on the website.
Go to http://rmhccni.org/ to read more about the house, donate or be a volunteer!!
View photos of the inside of Ronald McDonald House http://rmhccni.org/photo-gallery/