This week, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $1 million grant for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC), assisting the nonprofit in its goal of helping more families in their hour of greatest need.
“This investment will help the Central Ohio Ronald McDonald House support more families in need of respite care as they attend to their loved ones. As families come to Franklin County because of our great hospitals, we are honored to help make this expansion happen,” said Board of Commissioners President Erica C. Crawley. “Nearly 70 percent of the families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House are low-income. Having a welcoming place to stay can remove one worry off their mind.”
The Ronald McDonald House provides free stay and meals, as well as offers activities for respite for families of children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital or any of the hospital systems in Franklin County. The house currently serves 4,500 families annually and will accommodate 6,500 families when complete.
Construction at the 711 E. Livingston Ave. facilities started in March and is expected to finish in 2023. The RMHC is raising a total of $42 million for the project, which factors in the rising building material costs.
“It is heartbreaking to see sick kids, but these children are strong. They really are warriors. And this grant allows more of them to have a family member at their side as they fight,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “This grant is really symbolic of Franklin County. We pull together in times of need to help one another out, and that is exactly what this grant does.”
Some rooms under construction include larger rooms to accommodate larger families and have connecting rooms to assist in a variety of care needs.
“Working families are forced to live in a constant crisis because too many are ineligible for assistance under the federal guidelines, despite their monthly struggles to pay for necessities like food, childcare and rent. Then when their child has a medical crisis, everything brings on a new layer of challenges,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce. “These families would not even have a place to stay so they can remain close to their child during medical treatments, if it were not for the Ronald McDonald House. When you see an expansion that can accommodate 6,500 families, that shows just how much of a need there is in Central Ohio.”