GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan is reopening its doors to families after serious water damage closed the building in January.
The three-story building was out of commission for eight weeks, forcing 17 families to stay in hotels while the repairs were made.
“We are thrilled,” said Patty McCormick, development director at Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan. “We are welcoming our families back o the house and we are thrilled to do that. We have missed them, and I think they have missed us.”
McCormick said the eight-week timeline is highly unusual, a feat only accomplished because a board member works for a local construction company was able to pull some strings.
“It has been an incredible process of great community support and outreach,” she said. “When the community heard we had this situation, it was an incredible financial support to take care of our families, who we have been taking care of remotely.”
The Ronald McDonald House covered the cost of the hotel stay for the families, and provided transportation to and from hospitals, food, and laundry.
However, a hotel stay isn’t the same as being at a home.
“They appreciate being at the hotel, but it’s a different situation, as you can see looking at our home,” McCormick said. “With the coziness and the kitchen and the sights and the sounds and sharing. Just being together in this communal space means so much to them.”
In total, the Ronald McDonald House had to replace:
- Carpet on all three levels of the building’s west wing
- Ceilings on the bottom two floors
- Dry wall in the dining room
- Lighting in the west wing
- Several computers
- Furniture in the front office