My association with Ronald McDonald House Adelaide began around five years ago. My interest in the charity was born from knowing what it was like to live with a seriously ill child – but I could never imagine how families from mostly rural areas coped with hospital life whilst also having to live far from home.
I know when my son was seriously ill, access to my home was what sustained me – whilst many nights I wasn’t able to stay under my own roof, the convenience of being able to duck home to grab things, the support of family, friends and my local community and the familiarity of being ‘near’ home helped me to manage.
After meeting other families in hospital I discovered that it was Ronald McDonald House providing a home away from home for people who needed to seek medical treatment for their child in Adelaide. While nothing can completely remedy the stress and sadness of having a seriously ill child, I witnessed RMH come close – by keeping families close when they needed to be together most.
Recently I took four of my girlfriends who had never been into RMH and my mum (who had) to see if what they imagined the house to be like was what it was actually like. We took the opportunity to participate in the dinner program – setting up a dessert bar for the people who currently call the house home.
Watch the video above and you’ll see all the girls imagined that the house would be “sterile” and that they’d see lots of sick kids and sadness. But what they actually encountered was a loving home, with a sense of community and normality – people making cups of tea, children playing dress ups, even the odd tantrum!
While the enormity of the situation many families in the home are currently enduring was not lost on the girls, they felt so inspired that these people were being so well supported during their darkest time through the simple act of being given a place to call home – a privilege that is so easy to take for granted.
Best of all, the girls felt so inspired by what they saw, they all mentioned that they want to return to the home – to do more. RMH has that magical impact on volunteers – you go there to help and yet you leave feeling helped.
So what can you do to get involved?
You could buy a ticket (or ten) to the RMHC SA 2016 Gala Ball happening at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre this October. The black tie event is one of the most coveted on the Adelaide social calendar and has a reputation for being a night of glitz and glamour. This year you’ll be entertained by Hugh Sheridan and the Californian Crooners Club and I along with Tom Rehn will be your host. For more information and to book tickets click HERE.
If you’re a business you could participate in the RMHC Corporate Partner program – whether you help with monetary gifts, in-kind donations or volunteering, being a corporate sponsor is highly rewarding. Individuals and small groups can also help out with a huge range of activities, including the dinner program – where you go into the house to prepare a meal for the residents. To find our more contact the house on 8267 6922 or email Samantha.sturm@rmhadelaide.
The Wrap Up
Visit the Ronald McDonald House Adelaide website HERE