The Ronald McDonald House at the Avera McKennan Campus in Sioux Falls.
We continue our weekly segment, "The Morning Show Season of Giving." This time we want to highlight the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Nancy Naeve Brown went to the house that love built to see what they need to help the families they serve.
The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families who live outside of Sioux Falls whose child is in the hospital. We are lucky in Sioux Falls because we have two, both are less than 5 years old and both are decorated to the 9's. You'll hear over and over again from the people who make this house a home the difference it makes in the lives of sick or injured children is insurmountable.
"The thought of leaving any children in the hospital with mom and dad not being able to be there because they don't have a place to stay is something we just can't fathom. But it happens if there is no place to stay. That's where the Ronald McDonald House comes into play, "Executive Director MJ Schmidt said.
But like any house, it doesn't operate on air. The charity relies on donations to pay their bills and volunteers to cook and clean.
"We need the same things you need in your home. We tend to run out of paper products like paper towels, toilet paper. We have a thousand families come through here in a year so there is a lot of in and out," Schmidt said.
The pantry can always use staples too like mac and cheese, canned vegetables & fruit and peanut butter. Since the house is open 24/7 you can always drop off your donations at the front desk at your convenience.
"We never have too many volunteers as it turns out," MJ laughs. She goes on to say, "We have what's called caring cooks. Groups come in a cook a meal with what we have in our cupboards. Our families come back from the hospital between 8 and 9 at night and having a hot dish in the oven or spaghetti already prepared makes a huge difference for these families. "
No one ever asked a child if they were old enough to fight for their life, yet they do every day and they do it with their families support right here at the Ronald McDonald House. As you think about your options for holiday giving, the good folks here ask that you consider giving here. Your donation will help another child win their fight.
Besides paper products, the Ronald McDonald House can always use frozen pizzas. They do have a freezer so frozen dinners are convenient for families to make when they get home late from the hospital.