Learning that a child is sick with a crippling or life-threatening disease is one of the worst things that can happen to any parent. When a child faces a major illness, it has an effect on all of the family members.

Often, a child who faces a major illness needs to go for specialized care and treatment. Families can live hundreds of miles from the best children’s hospitals that are able to provide state-of-the-art treatments. Picking up the family and staying in another city can be an overwhelming financial burden to many families.

This is where the Ronald McDonald House comes into play. There are Ronald McDonald Houses all across the United States. Right now, there is a Ronald McDonald House providing services near 90 percent of the best children’s hospital in the United States and around the world.

Ronald McDonald Houses provide families and children seeking treatment a place to stay for the duration of the time needed to treat the illness at the children’s hospital. The Ronald McDonald Houses provide a setting that is much like a family home.

At the Ronald McDonald House in a community, families will have a comfortable room in an environment with other families in a similar situation. There are special playrooms for children so that they might interact together.

Food is provided for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House. This helps to free the family from having to go out and shop for necessities. The family can get a good meal, and they can spend time as a family concentrating on the all-important task of getting the sick child back to a state of good health.

Support services are also available at the Ronald McDonald House. The brothers and sisters of a sick child may need emotional support as their sibling goes through a distressing situation. Parents often need someone to talk to help them and encourage them as their child goes through the ups and downs of a treatment protocol. These support services are provided at the Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald Houses also help families to get their minds off of the child’s sickness. At many Ronald McDonald Houses, special activities are held so that those staying at the houses can have a time of fun and laughter.

The services provided by the Ronald McDonald Houses are provided free of charge or at a very small cost. The houses are funded by charitable contributions.

Below you can see some photos of my family and I, volunteering with this wonderful organization!