Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro Expands to Suffolk
Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro chapter is all about providing comfort and convenience to families with children who are sick in the hospital.
The New Hyde Park-based Ronald McDonald House is located next door to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and mainly serves families of young patients staying there or at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside. The organization is now working on opening a new Ronald McDonald House in Suffolk County across from Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
“We want to provide for all of a family’s nonmedical needs in the midst of a pediatric medical crisis,” says Matt Campo, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro. “Any family that has a sick kid in the hospital can use our services and support. We want to make sure they can focus on what’s most important, which is the well-being of their child.”
The New York Metro Ronald McDonald House started as an 18-bedroom facility in 1986 and grew to 42 by 2005.
When staying at the Ronald McDonald House, families are provided with a large bedroom with en-suite bathroom, meals 365 days a year, and transportation. There is also a hospitality program to provide them with any and all necessities.
But most of all the charity gives families a sense of community with others facing similar struggles, says Campo. That’s why the organization encourages any family with a sick child, whether they live far away or down the road, to stay at Ronald McDonald House.
“The magic is that it’s a communal living environment where families come together and lean on each other for support,” Campo says. “Friends are formed, and it is an amazing thing.”
The organization also offers services inside the hospital through its hospitality carts that offer snacks, coffee, and activities to families visiting little ones.
There are also Ronald McDonald House family rooms within hospitals. Last year, a family room opened at Stony Brook’s Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) Unit and provides the same types of hospitality services – and sense of community – to families.
Donations are now being sought for a full-fledged Ronald McDonald House to serve families with children staying at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where Campo says the need is tremendous for the program.
For more information, visit rmhcnym.org.