At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 4: Ronald McDonald House
As one of the most well-known charities in America, Ronald McDonald House has been around since 1974 aiding in the support for families with sick and injured children. Essentially, they provide free housing and amenities near hospitals, allowing the parents and other family members of hospitalized children to rest, shower, launder and generally do the things they would normally do on a regular day. In Indianapolis, these “home-away-from-home” care centers provide support for those families with children receiving care at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, as well as other hospitals in the area. With two houses in Central Indiana, they’ve managed to help upwards of 5,000 families per year since their inception.
The organization’s main house sits right in the heart of downtown Indy’s medical hub at IUPUI. With free WiFi, comfortable beds, a fully-stocked library, full kitchens, community made meals, play areas and even financial assistance, this house is more than just a place for respite. The second location is actually within Riley Hospital itself. This day-retreat gives parents and family members the opportunity to recharge with complimentary food, shower, meditation and even overnight beds for those whose children are in critical care.
Aside from this basis element of assistance, RMH has put together other programs aimed at prospering the health, education and overall well-being of Hoosiers. Take their scholarship program for instance, one that contributes dozens of high school students with $5,000 to go towards their college education. They also have a program designed to support other local charities by way of community grants. Given that Ronald McDonald House is one of the nation’s largest charities in their field, they have the unique opportunity of providing support to smaller, community based charities by way of these community grants. Twice a year, RMH chooses local Indiana non-profits, who have a proven track record of supporting families and children in Indiana, and rewards their hard work with a sizeable grant.
Because this is the time of year when giving makes it to the forefront of people’s minds, RMH has put together a series of November events aimed at giving a little extra. On Nov. 28, they’re hosting a holiday-themed night where families and children are encouraged to stop by the local Ronald McDonald House and enjoy some complimentary food and drink, visit with Santa and Ronald McDonald himself, enjoy some quality music from the Second Presbyterian Children’s Choir and also join in on the ceremonial lighting of the house! Come Christmas time, RMH also sets up Santa’s Workshop at the main house. Here, parents can “shop” for toys for their children from donated gifts at no cost. This is a well-deserved event for those parents who are dealing with substantial medial costs and unable to give their children the Christmas they’d like. Events like these are meant to lift the spirits of both the children and family members who have been faced with hardships. After all, a little bit of holiday cheer goes a long way.