Help connect the House with people from the past
Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Perth has launched a national search for people whose lives have been touched by its work providing Western Australian families with a place to stay while their children receive treatment for a serious illness.
In its 20th Birthday year, the charity is seeking to contact as many as possible of the 3,000 families who have called RMH home at some stage since its inception in 1990. The house would also love to hear from the countless staff and volunteers who have contributed to making the house a home for so many people over the years.
Their stories – from the heartbreakingly sad to the joyously happy - will be recorded for a visual history of RMH as part of its Birthday celebrations in November this year.
Executive Officer Alison Salmond said thousands of people from all walks of life had experienced the unique love and support provided by RMH over the past two decades and they could now be living anywhere in Australia.
“We are putting the call out to the community to help us find the children and families we have known over the years,” she said.
“We want to know what the families are doing now and what it meant to have a place like RMH to stay during the days and months while their child was undergoing gruelling treatment.
“We also want to get back in touch with the staff and volunteers who have cooked, cleaned, provided fun and entertainment, and, most importantly, been a shoulder to cry on when families have found life to be extraordinarily tough and unpredictable.”
Ms Salmond said bringing together 20 years of personal stories will be a huge task, “but challenges are nothing new to RMH”.
“We have jumped over some pretty big hurdles over the years and resilience is definitely one of our hallmarks,” she said.
Should you be able to help the House in their mission to reunite the faces of the House, please contact Kellie Hanna at Ronald McDonald House Perth on 08 9346 9002 or [email protected] by Monday 31 May.
Ronald McDonald House, Perth
In 1985 a group of parents with children being treated for cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) realised the need for an accommodation facility close to the hospital. They formed the ‘Life Group’ and started their mission to raise funds to build a ‘House of Life’.
Later in 1985 Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Australia was established and the Life Group received assistance to build a House in Perth. The partnership between the House of Life and RMHC commenced.
PMH provided a block of land on York Street, Subiaco, and local community groups, individuals and local McDonald’s licensees fully funded the House with $450,000. It opened on 27 November 1990.
In 1995, due to the increasing need for more accommodation, the House was extended to include six self-contained units for families in need of long-term accommodation. There have been further upgrades and extensions to the kitchen and family area, courtyards and administration areas.
The House increased its occupancy levels in 2007 when it expanded its eligibility criteria to include families with children who were suffering other forms of serious illness as well as cancer. These days the House has 100 per cent occupancy almost every night.
In addition to the House, there are also two Ronald McDonald Family Retreats in WA – one in Bunbury and one in Jurien Bay. They provide families of seriously ill children with the opportunity to get away from the hospital and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation time.
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