Construction of Springfield's second Ronald McDonald House is nearly complete, but additional funding is still needed to equip and operate the facility over the next year.
"I know from personal experience how much the Ronald McDonald House means to families of ill children," said David Hamm, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, Inc., Board chairman. "It is truly an honor to serve as the organization's chief volunteer officer as we work toward bringing this second Ronald McDonald House to many more families in need."
Springfield's second Ronald McDonald House will be located on the sixth floor of Mercy Children's Hospital. The facility is available as a home away from home for families of seriously ill and injured children receiving treatment at the hospital.
The first Springfield Ronald McDonald House, located north of Cox South Hospital, has served 474 Barry County families since it opened in 1988.
Area residents can help support the new Springfield facility by donating cash and in-kind gifts to the project. A gift registry program has been established at several Springfield businesses and through Walmart.com and cash donations can be mailed to Ronald McDonald House, 949 E. Primrose St., Springfield, MO 65807.
Donations can also be made by calling 417-875-3505 or online at www.RMHCozarks.org.
"It is heartwarming to see the support of people in the Ozarks who are making this project a reality," said Bonnie Keller, Ronald McDonald House Charities president and chief executive officer. "We encourage everyone to get involved."
Mercy Hospital Springfield has provided over 8,200 square feet of space for the new Ronald McDonald House. Mercy is also contributing ongoing operational support including utilities, phone and Internet services, linens, towels and maintenance services.
The new facility will offer 10 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The facility also features a living room, dining room, kitchen, playroom, gathering room, laundry center and public restrooms.
Families not requiring overnight stays are invited to use the facility during daytime hours to catch up on email, have a snack or meal, do laundry, take a nap or just enjoy downtime to talk with family, friends and other families in similar situations.
"They have served many Barry County families, including Kari and I when Sawyer was born premature," said Richard Asbill, of Cassville. "When we stayed there, we actually were placed in the Little Joe Starchman room. It was a small world reminder that there are so many people impacted by need.
"This is a wonderful project and the additional facility located at the Mercy Hospital will help parents stay even closer to their children in times of need without financial burden," added Asbill.
The total costs for construction, fittings, furnishings and supplies for the new facility is over $1.6 million. Nearly $1 million has been raised so far. Contributions of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a donor wall in the entryway of the new Ronald McDonald House.
For more information, call Keller at 417-875-3503 or email her at bonnie.keller@RMHCozarks.org.