After closing its doors on July 3, 2020, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida (RMHCCF) has reopened its three Houses in Orlando on the campuses of AdventHealth for Children, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, and Nemours Children’s Hospital in a limited capacity.
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in March, RMHCCF had to pause accepting new families into the Houses for the health and safety of guest families and staff. However, even during a pandemic, cases of childhood illness did not cease and a small number of families with critically ill children remained at the Ronald McDonald Houses with COVID-19 protocols in place. When the Houses closed in July due to confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, the guest families were relocated to local hotels at no cost to them. RMHCCF incurred the costs of their stays.
After seeing a consistent decline of COVID-19 cases in Orange County over the past several weeks, and with the assistance of RMHCCF’s partner hospitals, state and local officials, and RMHC Global, RMHCCF will reopen all three of its Houses in Orlando this week with modified operations in place.
The Houses are welcoming families back in phases, starting with a limited number of House guests who had been moved to local hotels during the closure.
“Providing a safe environment for our guest families is our top priority,” says Lou Ann DeVoogd, President & CEO of RMHCCF. “Our Houses look different than prior to COVID-19, however, with smiling eyes above our masks, we will welcome our guest families back in their time of need as they care for their child in the hospital.”
Although the Houses are reopening, all RMHCCF volunteer programs continue to be on hold until further notice, including the Share-A-Meal program, which provides lunch and dinner for families at all three Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando with the help of community volunteers.
RMHCCF is now in urgent need of community support to continue to provide care for families with a child facing a serious illness. Supporters can make a donation online to underwrite the cost of a family stay and/or a meal. Gift cards to local restaurants and grocery stores are also needed.
For more information, please visit www.rmhccf.org.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida finds, creates, and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and families. Its cornerstone program, the Ronald McDonald House, provides a home away from home for families with children receiving treatment at hospitals and medical facilities in Orlando. There are three Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando on the campuses of AdventHealth for Children, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Orlando Health Winnie Palmer for Women & Babies, and Nemours Children’s Hospital.