Did you know that our average length of stay is just over two months? Our families have seriously ill kids who need medical treatment, often for months at a time, in order to recover. So we offer them a home-away-from-home when they need it, complete with a family pantry where they can find what they need to make a meal.
Our family pantry is supported by donations from the community, as well as grant funding. We have volunteers who come in to label all of the items with expiration dates and sort items in the pantry by the dates so everything we serve is the safest possible for families with a sick kid. It is stocked with everything from canned and dry goods to fresh veggies, dairy, and fruit which we order once a week. We also provide lots of easy to prepare comfort foods like macaroni and cheese – many of our kids feel queasy from treatments like chemo and having some familiar meals can make sure they get the calories their bodies need to heal. Also, many kids experience changes in their ability to taste food during chemo treatments, so food that looks and smells familiar (even if it tastes different) can be a real comfort.
Most food donations come to us during a time when most people are thinking about charity – during the holidays and Thanksgiving. However, our need for food is strongest in the summer, as this is the time when our supplies run low. We have more people in the House during the summer, as many patient siblings come to the House to stay while school is out. During July and August, the combination of more people and less supplies can be a real challenge!
That’s where Lighthouse eDiscovery came in to help. The company learned about our need for food in the summer and ran an amazing food drive for us, with a “Holiday in July” theme. “We initiated the Holiday in July fooddrive due to the fact that summer months tend to be the hardest time to keep the pantry stocked,” said Phoebe Harirchi, human resources associate at Lighthouse eDiscovery. “The Ronald McDonald House’s commitment to bettering the lives of families and kids affected by medical crises is such an important cause and our employees enjoy giving back.”
Employees loved getting involved with the project, many of which began to donate on the very first day of the drive. The House created an online wish list for their pantry, which made it very easy and simple for employees to donate the items the House specifically needed. Other employees also donated cash, which Lighthouse staff used to purchase additional items the House was running low on. Doing something in the summer with employees is a great way to make sure that your staff stays engaged in your company’s social mission all year long and not just around the holidays.
We’re so glad to have Lighthouse eDiscovery’s support – and they will even be working with other RMHCs near their other international offices. “As a global company, partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities has been extremely easy and rewarding for all of our locations,” said Kate Devaney, marketing specialist at Lighthouse eDiscovery. “This ongoing partnership has been essential to Lighthouse’s Partners Give Back program and we are excited to continue to participate in bi-annual donations drives, as well as other volunteer opportunities.”
If your company is interested in getting involved with the House, please let us know! We would love to help you get what you need to put on a food drive, find rewarding volunteer days for your employees, or help your company come up with a simple fundraiser for our organization. For more information, please contact .