28 Apr Our House is Their Home: Part 4 – Looking Back and Moving Forward
Compiling the 2019 Impact Report was an emotional task. As we were writing about celebration and achievement, we were at the same time suspending programs and reducing services to protect RMH families, volunteers and staff from Coronavirus exposure.
With the current uncertainty, it was uplifting to reflect on just how many families found comfort at RMH last year, and heartwarming to recall the many different ways we were able to serve them. It was a reminder of how much what we do matters.
For that, and for the community of love and support that enables RMH to have a positive impact on so many lives, we are very grateful.
2019 marked the 40th Anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, and a year of great accomplishment and growth.
The House had a 7.5% increase in occupancy and more families stayed than ever before. We revamped our Family Meal Program and made a commitment to two freshly prepared meals and continental breakfast daily. Volunteer groups provided 583 of those meals, and while the House is currently closed to volunteers, many have continued to contribute financially.
Our hearts were warmed many times in 2019 as families who had once been guests returned to volunteer, entertain, prepare meals and speak on our behalf. When asked why they come back to serve, most spoke of their first-hand understanding of how vital the services are to children and families, and their desire to give back and help make sure the House is there for other families.
Reviewing statistics and stories from Family Rooms that are currently closed reminded us just how important those Rooms are to the families they serve. In its first ten years, the Fairview Family Room was visited over 84,000 times, while in their first full year our overnight respite rooms were used 941 times. STAR Centers completed a full year of serving families in an outpatient setting, while RedTreehouse.org began expanding to serve families in new geographic areas.
Just as families depend on RMH, we depend on our volunteers, donors, and corporate and community partners. There were many remarkable contributions from all of these groups in 2019, and as we featured them in our report, we couldn’t help but think about how much we miss seeing our individual volunteers, groups in the kitchen, gardeners outside, donors popping in with wish-list items, pull tabs or checks, and partners at the hospitals. Seeing all of you in these pages makes us smile and reminds us of the joy you bring to the House and our families.
We look forward to the day we can welcome you all back into our House. Until then, we thank you for your continued support and hope you enjoy the 2019 Impact Report.