Yuma Sun

‘Homes away from home’

Ronald McDonald House Charities offers support to Yuma families

- BY RACHEL ESTES SUN STAFF WRITER

Although their “homes away from home” are located in the Phoenix and Mesa areas, the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central and Northern Arizona extends lifelines of support to families across the state – including those in Yuma.

Last year, with the financial aid of the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) of Yuma,

RMHC served 225 Yuma families who collective­ly checked in for 3,652 overnight visits.

“This is the highest number we saw out of all 15 counties in 2019,” said Chief Executive Officer Kerry Schulman.

With two houses in Phoenix and one in Mesa, RMHC offers families a “home away from home” proximally located to the medical center from which their child will be receiving treatment. As long as their child is under the age of 22, Yuma families are eligible for housing whether the treatments are in-patient or outpatient.

For a family’s first stay, their local physician’s office or hospital’s Social Services Department sends a referral to RMHC, who alleviates the stress of the admission process by taking care of it for them.

“These parents already have enough to worry about,” Schulman said. “So many of them spend all day at the hospital, and they’re just exhausted. We’re here to be a resource and offer them a place they can come home to at night, have a hot meal and get the rest they need so they can focus on getting their child well.”

According to Schulman, what’s particular­ly special about these amenities is their affordabil­ity. While prices vary year to year, grants from organizati­ons like ACF of Yuma (which has been a pillar of support to RMHC for several years now) keep the cost low so families have “one less thing to worry about.”

“It’s our goal to help as many families as we possibly can and not turn anyone away – we really pride ourselves on that,” Schulman said. “Foundation­s like that allow us to do what we do.”

For more informatio­n on RMHC, its services and how to use them, visit www.rmhccnaz. org.

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