How the Ronald McDonald Family Room is making a difference in the lives of patients, families01/18/22 03:15:pm
Since opening in August 2021, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® inside the Ladish Co. Foundation Center has been positively impacting the lives of patients and their families.
Below, Family Room volunteers share meaningful moments they’ve had so far and express their gratitude for the opportunity to help others. Submissions were kept anonymous to respect the privacy of our volunteers, patients, and families.
“I had a time when a patient from OCD and Anxiety Adolescent Residential Care asked me to watch her rehearse what she was going to say that day during her final project upon discharge. She was doing a ropes and challenges event and was going to share with her peers something about her progression through treatment at each step on the course along the way. This patient was in a Rogers outpatient program closer to home prior to admitting to residential to get to a point where she could even travel to Oconomowoc to seek residential treatment. This young lady had come a long way to get to the point of discharging from residential! It was so rewarding. She was sweet and kind of nervous but became more and more confident by the third and last time she rehearsed it for me. You could tell that she had been through a lot and come so far and was really proud that she could get to a point where she could address her peers in this way. She also told me that it was powerful when she was new at the residential program, and so far from home, to see the patients who were about to discharge do this kind of activity. It gave her hope that she too could get to that point and go back to her life before OCD. I sincerely hope she is living the life she dreams of.”
“As a regular volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House®, I knew the Ronald McDonald Family Room would be a wonderful addition to Rogers and another good volunteer opportunity. I recently gave a tour of the Family Room to a new family and told them about the [Ronald McDonald House in Wauwatosa] for overnight accommodation. I could see them visibly relaxing, knowing there were many resources available to help them during such a stressful time. Their smiles as they left are what makes volunteering here so worthwhile for me.”
“I love knowing that we’re providing a safe, friendly place for families of patients ̶ and the patients themselves. Providing snacks, activities, and a place to relax and reconnect is one of the best things we can provide for everyone. I hope we’re just a small part in helping the total healing process.”
“The Ronald McDonald House’s mission is near and dear to my heart so when the Family Room opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance to be part of it. Being able to keep families together when their child is going through something incredibly difficult is crucial to healing. Mental health is no different, and in today’s world, it’s even more critical that it gets the focus it needs. Being able to be that friendly face for the families that come into the Family Room and help provide that space where they can be with their kids, or just take a break, is such a special thing. Even if we don’t exchange too many words, I think the families feel some comfort knowing that there are people there who care for them and their families. Many people come from very far away to get treatment at Rogers, and this room just provides a little bit of home for them when they can’t be at their own homes.”
“My kids and my grandchildren are healthy. Volunteering in the Family Room is a way of showing gratitude for many blessings and hoping to bring moments of peace and comfort to families in need.”
“When I first heard about the Ronald McDonald Family Room on Rogers’ campus, I knew I wanted to be part of it. As a former patient of Rogers, I see the added value and benefit the Family Room provides for patients and their support system. Being in treatment can feel lonely and having a place you can come and feel ‘normal’ with your friends and family has a lot of added benefit.
“Seeing families spend time together cooking, laughing, and playing games is rewarding and uplifting. Some patients are at Rogers for extended periods of time and watching them relax and unwind in the Family Room shows how important it is to their progress and positivity. Even if they’re just in there for an hour, eating a snack, and being away from the inpatient area brightens their mood. The Family Room creates a sense of normalcy for patients and a place they feel safe.
“[Ronald McDonald House Charities® Eastern Wisconsin] has done an incredible job with the aesthetic of the Family Room, as well as the supplies and resources. The brightness and big windows allow lots of light into the room and make it a warm place. With games, art, books, and more, there’s something for everyone to do. Sharing a space and doing their own activities allows the Family Room guests to bond.”