When our little girl was born almost four months early, we were blessed to be at one of the top NICUs in the country. We were also two hours from home. Would it have been feasible to drive four hours each day to visit her? No. Would it have been possible to afford a hotel for, as it turned out, exactly ONE HUNDRED nights? Not really. Where did we turn? The Ronald McDonald House.
At the Indianapolis RMH (the one where we stayed):
- The average stay is 13.8 nights. Blessedly, many families only need a couple nights there while their children heal. Families like ours, with stays in the triple digits, push the average up. Once you have a room, you are guaranteed a room until your child is discharged. There's amazing comfort in that.
- In one calendar year (2009), 1,777 families from Indiana were served. An additional 118 families from 21 other states and 7 families from 6 other countries also called the RMH home.
- The estimated cost per night to provide a room is $74. Families are asked to contribute $10/night. The average family is able to pay $3.62/night. We were happy to pay the $10/night but, when they learned just how long we were staying, the managers reduced our "bill" to $5/night. We were so, so blessed to have a place to live that cost us $500 for 3 1/2 months.
I simply cannot tell you all the amazing things about the Ronald McDonald House in one short article. If you're interested in knowing more, you may want to check out these posts:
What questions do you have about Ronald McDonald House Charities? I'll do my best to answer them in the comments!
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