Ronald Mcdonald House Charities Of Tampa Bay Inc
From our colleague Hannah Bellamy:
We stayed with the Tampa Bay chapter of RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities). It is actually an international organization, something I didn’t know previously, and their mission is to keep families together while loved ones are in the hospital. It could be for outpatient procedures where they have to travel a long distance, or for quick stays, or it could be for months. We met a family whose son was 6 months old and had never been out of the hospital. The page for the Tampa Bay Chapter is here: https://support.rmhc.org/site/TR/RaiseLove/RMHCofTampaBayInc?pg=entry&fr_id=1317
We were so grateful to have a place to rest and eat, for our kids to just be kids, and to get a break from the hospital during the last few months. In total Paul was in the hospital for 8 weeks, and we had a place to stay at RMHC during that time. The houses were within a block of the hospital so we could walk and quickly get a snack, meal, or shower, to let the girls play on the playground, or to have a longer rest. It kept us sane.
It’s estimated to cost $100/day to house a family and they only ask for a $10 (voluntary) donation per day from each family when you check out. We would have spent thousands in hotel, gas, and food costs to do what RMHC provided for us. Or (more likely) we would have had to go without seeing each other even more than we already had to do.
I’d always heard great things about “Hotel McDonald” as my middle daughter named it, but I never understood the relief of having a place to rest and not to have the added stress of planning meals during a crises until we went through this. They also provide other resources you don’t think about like toiletries or basic hygiene necessities, clothes, toys, coloring books, etc., things you don’t think to grab when you’re rushing to the hospital in an emergency.