Mission: Ronald mcdonald house charities of central florida, inc. 's mission is to find, create, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.
Programs: Ronald mcdonald house is the cornerstone program of rmhc of central florida. The ronald mcdonald house program provides a home away from home for families with seriously or chronically ill, or critically injured children being treated at pediatric hospitals in orlando. In 2014 we focused on sustaining our current program while launching the public phase of our capital campaign to build orlando's third ronald mcdonald house at nemours children's hospital. Renovations were completed at the ronald mcdonald house on the campus offlorida hospital for children, updating the flooring and painting while expanding an activity room for children and families. Both houses added an upgraded security system with a lobby guard program for guests while introducing an on-line application for easier access for families. During 2014, we served 1,651 families, with an 80. 8% average occupancy rate and a 98% positive evaluation rating from families. We raised 80% of our capital campaign goal before october, while exceeding our annual sustaining revenue by $225,000. The first ronald mcdonald house in central florida opened in december 1996 on the campus of florida hospital for children with 13 bedrooms. The second house opened on the campus of arnold palmer medical center in 2003 with 22 bedrooms. Since the first house opened the program has undergone expansions in both houses. The program now serves 59 families each night. In february 2014 we reached a milestone by serving our 20,000th family. Both houses are located on the campuses of pediatric hospitals, just minutes, door to door, from the house to hospital. Each of the houses offers a welcoming, comforting, clean, and safe environment. The houses provide each family a bedroom and a private bath, with 24-hour access to a fully furnished kitchen and pantry, dining room, gathering rooms, laundry facilities, and computers. The houses provide a wonderful place for families to sit and talk and share their stories. Although the illnesses of the children vary from neo-natal to pediatric cancer, to name just a few - one thing each family has in common and can share with one another is the worry, concern, and love of their child. They support one another. A staff member is on site 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Volunteers assist staff from 9 am to 9 pm with three, four-hour shifts each day. They help with chores, answer phones, assist families checking in and out, and most importantly, they are there to support families in their toughest of times. The only requirement to stay at the ronald mcdonald house in orlando is to complete an application with a referral from the child's physician. We ask that families donate $20 to help offset the $84 cost per night; however, no family is ever turned away for their inability to contribute. In 2014, only 30 percent of families were able to contribute any amount toward their stay. To date, through 2014, we have served 21,370 families from 64 countries, 49 states, and 64 counties in florida. 54% of our families come from central florida. The highest number of families come from the following five counties; brevard 18. 5%, volusia 12. 9%, lake 8. 5%, orange 6. 9% and osceola 5. 3%. More than 5,710 volunteers work in the houses, assist with special events, help with community projects, and cook meals throughout the year, donating more than 25,512 hours to help provide support and comfort to our families in medical crisis. Volunteers from corporations, civic organizations, and community groups participate in our share-a-meal program throughout the year. They come to the houses with groceries they purchase and prepare meals for our families - often for lunch and dinner at both houses. At 6:30 p. M. Each night, families know that there will be a nutritious, home-made meal waiting for them. They do not have to worry about having to fix a meal or clean up, they can return to the hospital again to visit their child. An extension of our ronald mcdonald house program is our rmhccf family gathering room outreach program within the pediatric hospitals. The rmhccf family room at arnold palmer hospital is located on the fourth floor. The family gathering room provides comfortable chairs to rest or watch television, a kitchen/dining area for snacks or playing cards or games, a computer station for communicating with family and friends, and a shower, to freshen up after long hours at the hospital. The rmhccf family gathering room at florida hospital for children is located on the second floor. The family gathering rooms were created for local orlando families who may not need the ronald mcdonald house as a home away from home, yet, need the comfort and care of the program while they are in medical crisis. The outreach program has received positive and grateful responses from families and hospital staff. We have expanded our snack pack program and comfort kit beyond the families staying at the ronald mcdonald houses. We are distributing the kits to families within our rmhccf family gathering rooms. The snack packs provide nutritional treats for families during the long days by their children. The comfort kits offer toiletries and gifts of comfort to help with their long stay. The central florida community has embraced the ronald mcdonald house program and its purpose; to provide comfort and care to families who are going through the toughest of times, the illness of their child. The ronald mcdonald house serves families who are in medical, financial, and emotional crisis. The ronald mcdonald houses are made of brick and mortar, however, we call them the houses that love built, because it is all the time, talent, and treasure of the central florida community who help to serve the children and families in need.