By Rebecca Pesqueda, Correspondent
With over 300 in operation across the globe, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple is just one of many that continues to impact the lives of families who walk through its doors. The RMHC serves as a home for families that come far and wide to be with their critically ill children as they receive medical treatment at local hospitals.
“Our house is in a pretty small town compared to the others in larger cities, but there’s just something about the community in Temple that I just love,” said Susan Bolton, Executive Director of the RMHC of Temple.
Referrals from the hospital in which the child is being treated are a must have for a family to become guests at the RMHC. This is done with the help of a social worker who gets into contact with the family of the child when they arrive at the hospital. A small fee to be a guest is asked to be paid by the families, but under most circumstances can be waived.
“We’ll typically ask families to pay at least $10 a night, but if they can’t we won’t turn them away for not being able to,” said Bolton.
The RMHC houses families with children of various illnesses, but that doesn’t stop them from living as normal of a life as possible. Parents can go about their days as they please when they are not at the hospital with their ill children. A playroom is available for children who are staying at the facility with their families and they can go about their everyday school work by having it emailed or faxed over to the RMHC facilities.
When it comes down to accepting applicants at the RMHC, there is one eligibility requirement that overrides the rest.
“Distance is of major priority here,” said Bolton. “If we’re at our max capacity with one room available and have two families applying, the one who lives the furthest away from us becomes the most eligible.”
The organization is always accepting referrals from families year-round at the RMHC. Guests are encouraged to check-in and turn in referrals between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on any day of the week.
Volunteers are always encouraged to stop by or call the office at any time to help out.
“One of our biggest fundraiser of the year is the Bob Lily/Randy White Celebrity Golf Classic,” said Bolton. “It’s our most successful and most popular.”
The golf tournament is held in May each year. Residents of the Temple/Belton area are encouraged to keep their eyes out for more information in the months to come.
For more information about the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple services, to volunteer or to donate, visit rmhc-temple.com