RMHC St. Louis COVID-19 information
A statement from Dan Harbaugh, RMHC St. Louis President:
October 29, 2020
RMHC: Hopeful and cautious for the safety of our guest families.
At Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis, we provide family-centered care to seriously ill or injured children and their families. During 2020, our priority has been the health and well-being of those we serve, our staff, our volunteers, and community partners. We continue to deliver clean and comfortable spaces to families as they rest, recharge, and connect safely within the walls of our three St. Louis area Ronald McDonald Houses.
Here are a few changes we have made along the way to keep families close and feel as comfortable as possible during their stay amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In April, with the guidance from our Global leaders, we suspended the acceptance of new families into our Ronald McDonald House program to prevent exposure to guest families. Also, all in-House volunteer opportunities were suspended, including our Meals from the Heart program. Our four in-hospital Ronald McDonald Family Rooms became primarily inactive.
- We were overwhelmed by our supporters’ generosity in providing meals for families by ordering food to be delivered from local restaurants. As we have started to increase the number of families at each of our houses, that need remains. Please CLICK HERE to learn how you can help provide a meal.
- By June, our front-line staff designed and deployed a multiple-phase plan to offer our services to new families. Since that time, our team has safely invited families back into the House to use our services based on CDC guidelines and direction from Global leadership.
- In August and September, our supporters enjoyed multiple socially distant special events, including the Kids & Clays Tournament, the Scramble for Golf Charity, and the Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament. These modified fundraisers did not include our usual dinner auctions, yet combined still raised more than $850,000!
- We held our first-ever “House Party Virtual Auction” on October 23rd & 24th, raising more than $187,000!
- This month, under continued caution, our local Ronald McDonald House leaders have announced that all in-House volunteer opportunities continue to be suspended until at the least the beginning of 2021. To learn how you can still impact guest families at Ronald McDonald House during the holidays, please CLICK HERE.
- Our Ronald McDonald Family Room team continues to collaborate with hospital partners to allow families access to our special spaces on an individual and limited basis.
- We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), local State Departments, and local hospital partners.
Our Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room volunteers are greatly missed during this time. Their absence has been truly felt by our staff and families, whose lives have been touched and enhanced by their important contributions every day.
We are so grateful to our community partners and donors that continue to display their support by donating Wish List items and essential cleaning supplies and having meals delivered.
Our staff is focused on the core mission of providing overnight accommodations, meals, and support to families currently seeking treatment in St. Louis. We know life has already been difficult, and the current pandemic intensifies their unique and fragile situations.
It is incredible to watch how people respond so positively in such a challenging time. We are hopeful for our future and continue to keep our guest families’ health and well-being at the forefront of every decision.
RMHC St. Louis President