Ronald McDonald House hits pause button

Ronald McDonald House hits pause button
The Ronald McDonald House has temporarily closed to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Pictured here, volunteers from Sperry Associates FCU prepared a meal for 85 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House last April.

The Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park, which has strived to provide support to sick or injured children and their families for the past 33 years, announced on Monday that it will temporarily halt in-person services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Day after day over the last few weeks, I have witnessed the best of humankind—the courage of families with sick children facing yet another challenge; the generosity of volunteers and donors who gave to our meal programs; and the sheer love of the community who dropped off much-needed cleaning supplies so our staff could take care of our House that Love Built,” wrote CEO Matt Campo in an email statement on Monday.

“With great sadness but even greater intent to better protect our families and the staff who have worked tirelessly since the pandemic hit, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the operations of our Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park,” he said.

The Ronald McDonald House is the cornerstone program of RMHC New York Metro. Their mission is to “build a community of compassionate care by creating and supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of sick children and their families,” their website states. Up until this week, they have been able to continue providing services for over 30 families struggling to manage medical crises.

Campo announced in an email on Saturday, March 14, that RMH was halting some services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including volunteer programs, meal and baking programs and family room programs. At the time, they were housing 42 families with children who were being treated nearby.

Although RMH is temporarily closed, they will continue to support children undergoing treatment and their families, Campo said.

They recently launched a virtual visit program so that patients can connect with their loved ones, and have delivered care packages to children in partnering hospitals.

The Ronald McDonald House itself is being temporarily repurposed to provide housing for hospital workers. “This is one of my proudest moments during my tenure with RMHC as we applaud these heroes for sacrificing their own lives, day after day, for ours,” stated Campo.

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