More Rooms Equals More Support

Swinging Open Doors To More Families

Article by RMHCNCF and Leza Mueller

Photography by Walker Architects Gainesville, Florida

Originally published in Gainesville City Lifestyle

Since 1982, RMHC North Central Florida has been keeping families close to their seriously ill children. The Ronald McDonald House provides comfy beds, home-cooked meals, and all the comforts of home to families traveling to Gainesville to seek medical care for their children. The House program is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child -not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal, or where they will lay their head at night to rest.

In 2022, our House provided 8,340 family nights for over 790 families. At the current House there are 31 rooms and in 2022 over 1,960 families had to be turned away. The top 4 health challenges experienced by our patients are: cardiac issues, premature birth, cancer, and trauma.

Now the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida has a NEW Home. The new Home will be open in September 2023 and located at 2121 SW 16th Street, Gainesville. The new Home will have the capacity for 50 families. This will allow over 682 additional families to be served per year.

The expansion is split into two phases with Phase I beginning the renovation of the pre-existing building to restore and improve the 50 guest suites. Phase II finalizes the goal of a comprehensive range of facilities.

But your support is needed. You can help in many ways, including sponsoring a room. And when you are a part of the Donor Wall, the children and their families can see who helped make room for more families. Together you and Ronald McDonald House Charities North Central Florida can offer a beacon of hope, comfort, compassion, strength, and home. Interested in supporting this capital campaign, please call 352-374-4404 X230 or contact Sherry Houston at shouston@rmhcncf.org

Ronald McDonald Family Room 

Located on the 10th floor of the UF Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a special place for families to rest and regroup within the walls of the hospital. It provides a small oasis of calm and normalcy amidst the tense, medical setting and allows parents to be just steps away from their child’s bedside.

What are the services in the Family Room?

1.     Open 7 days a week, including holidays.

2.     Private quiet room for naps and relaxation.

3.     Kitchenette with free snacks and drinks.

4.     A team of friendly volunteers. 

Over 1,775 comfort bags were provided to families. Interested in supporting the Ronald McDonald Family Room? Please call 352-374-4404 X222 or contact Emily Pridgen at epridgen@rmhcncf.org.

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