It’s a home away from home for hundreds of families whose children come to Grand Rapids to seek medical or mental health treatment. The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan, 1323 Cedar St NE, provides everything a family might need from a private room with a bathroom to lots of common living spaces, kitchen, laundry room, transportation and more, at no cost.
A total of 17 families can stay at one time with a house accommodating about 300 over the course of a year. The Grand Rapids house is slightly different from others around the country because they work with six medical and mental health facilities right in the city. Families, who have children that are 18 years and younger seeking medical treatment and live 30 miles or more away from Grand Rapids, can call or get referred.
Currently, RMHWM is doing a “Join Us on the Couch” campaign. A couch, lamp, and rug were taken to various medical facilities that partner with the house along with local attractions, to represent what they are all about, to really show RMHW’s impact on the community.
One person who has relied on the home for the past 7 months is Ronald Watkins of Dowagiac. His daughter Kenia, 14, is in Grand Rapids for the hematology and oncology program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Kenia and her dad have been at the House since early March for her to receive chemotherapy treatment for her medulloblastoma. Kenia lost her ability to see last year, so she also spends time at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for occupational and physical therapy. Ronald can’t stress enough how thankful he is for RMHWM.
Families actually come from around the world for treatment in Grand Rapids and rely heavily on the RMHWM to stay. So how can you help these families? Volunteers are always needed to cook meals, do office work, help with holiday wish list drives and more.