May 4, 2020

A Message from RMHC Canada: An Update from our CEO

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Learn how you can help us reach our fundraising goal. 

Hello Everyone,

In this time of great challenge and change, we’re grounded by what matters most: family.

In our world today, it feels more than ever we are all living the importance of family whether that’s more time physically close together at home, or finding new ways to keep that connection virtually.

Every day, I am thinking of the families who have been staying with us at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada since the beginning of this pandemic. Those who must travel for their sick child’s hospital treatment, leaving the comforts of home behind.

Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada have remained committed to continuing to serve existing families with sick children during this difficult time: providing overnight accommodations, meals and support.

Select Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, located right inside the hospital, while currently suspended, have temporarily been repurposed to provide rest and respite for frontline healthcare workers. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which traditionally operates in underserved communities in Alberta, has been redeployed as a maternity clinic in Calgary.

While we are unable to accept new families right now, we are working hard to put the screening, health and safety programs in place to begin welcoming more families back as soon as we can.

Always, but especially now, we feel deep gratitude for our community and healthcare partners, who together are helping families with sick children when they need it most.

Rmhc Alberta Care Mobile
Ronald McDonald Care Mobile redeployed as a maternity clinic in Calgary, Alberta.

Our Commitment to Families

Our priority is to ensure the highest level of safety and security for our families, as well as our staff and volunteers. I’m truly inspired by the hopeful and uplifting stories I’ve heard from across the RMHC Canada Network, sharing new ways our families are safely staying connected with each other and their loved ones during this time.

In Hamilton, at RMHC Southcentral Ontario, the staff prepared special activities such as personalized movie nights and spa kits for families, and even created sunshine packages for families to brighten their days! 

In London, Ontario at RMHC Southwestern Ontario, families are keeping active with personalized activity sheets and are staying connected with each other through a chalkboard where they can share messages of hope and support, even when they’re apart.

And at RMHC Newfoundland & Labrador, I was so touched to hear about the Skinner Family, who have been at the House nearing eight months during their son Josh’s medical treatment – they’re keeping busy thanks to new puzzle donations from the community, and of course lots of family baking!

Custom activity bags at RMHC Southwestern Ontario to keep families busy – left at their doors!
A sweet treat to brighten our families’ day at RMHC Southcentral Ontario.
Josh Skinner and mom Krista, eight months at RMHC Newfoundland & Labrador enjoying their time baking cookies!
Brian and Krista Skinner, eight months at RMHC Newfoundland & Labrador, with their puzzle masterpiece.

Thank you for your commitment to RMHC!

We are grateful for the steadfast support of Canadians to RMHC’s Mission for nearly 40 years. Today, as 1 in 4 Canadians have either stayed at a Ronald McDonald House or know someone who has, I find such warmth in knowing we have such a connected and wonderful network of RMHC supporters, champions, volunteers, and donor partners, just like you, across our communities.

I want to especially thank our Founding and Forever donor partner, McDonald’s Canada, its franchisees, staff, and their guests, who have shown such incredible generosity and support, in light of cancellations to RMHC’s volunteer and meal programs across the country. McDonald’s Canada has been supporting our families with weekly food deliveries to the Houses, gift cards to purchase essentials, sending personalized and uplifting messages, and so much more. McDonald’s guests have also continued to find ways to support RMHC at their local McDonald’s restaurants through purchase of Happy Meals and RMHC Cookies, and for that we are truly so grateful.

The McDonald’s team from Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal sharing supportive messages with the families staying at RMHC Montreal!
Stadium McDonald’s team members preparing meals for families staying at RMHC Alberta’s Calgary House.
Incredible McDonald’s team member, Ed, dropping off meals for families staying at RMHC Manitoba!

How you can help

Today, RMHC across Canada is experiencing a time of great need, seeing a 30-70% reduction in funding due to cancellation of fundraising events and volunteer programs as a result of this pandemic.

Beginning Tuesday May 5th for #GivingTuesdayNow we will be asking Canadians who are able to make a donation to visit our online fundraising page to support.

We have set a fundraising target of $387,000 to help us keep families close to their sick child being treated in hospital. The target amount honours the number of families we’ve helped since 1981, and in support of the families that will continue to need us now and into the future.

Your donation will have a direct impact on continuing to deliver our Mission, and 100 per cent of the donations made will go directly to support the RMHC House in your community. Every donation helps to make a difference for families!

We believe we are truly better when we come together. And if we can’t be together, we can work together to support families with sick children across our communities.

In closing, I want to thank you again for your continued commitment and support of RMHC. Please know I am thinking of you, your families and your continued health and safety.

With my heartfelt gratitude,

Cathy Loblaw,
CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada