Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio

For more than 40 years, this organization has been committed to the health and well-being of children and their families here in Northeast Ohio. They provide compassion, hope, and comfort when families need it most. Watch this month’s segment of Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own with Matt Kaulig interviewing Craig Wilson from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio.

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Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations and charities making a difference in northeast Ohio. It’s time to celebrate Cleveland’s Own.

Hi, I’m Matt Kaulig. For more than 40 years, this organization has been committed to the health and well-being of children and their families in Northeast Ohio. They provide compassion, hope and comfort when families need it most. Let’s chat with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio.

Craig, thanks for hosting us today. It’s great to be here at Ronald McDonald House. So for those of us that aren’t familiar with Ronald McDonald House, could you tell us more about what your role is and about the history of Ronald McDonald House here in Northeast Ohio?

So I am the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio, and our role is to enhance the health care experience of family and children through comfort care and supportive services. We do that through our host program in the hospitals and online programming. As you can imagine, families are going through a very stressful time when they have a child with an illness or an injury add covid-19 on top of that, you can imagine the stress that these families are going through. So our role is to be there to support them as much as possible through this terrible time they’re going through by taking things off of their plate and helping them with those kinds of things so they can really focus their energy on health care of their child.

Craig, I hear there’s some exciting news to share. So what’s happening here in Cleveland and Akron and how does that affect families?

It’s a very exciting time for our organization. We actually had four Ronald McDonald House chapters. We all got together and formed a task force to explore the opportunity of working together as one entity. So over an 18 month period, our task force studied the pros and cons and looked into what that might look like. And in the end, the task force and the boards of all four entities decided that it made a lot of sense for us to come together as one entity. So, our new name is Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio.

That’s exciting.

It’s big news. We’re very excited and it’s really a great opportunity for us to combine our resources, be more efficient. But also it opens up a lot more opportunity for us to provide services through our 23 county region.

Tell us about the current programs and resources that are available here.

So we have quite a few programs, a variety of things that we offer. We have two houses, one in Cleveland, one in Akron. The House Program supports families as their child is receiving treatment at an area medical center, so they can stay with us while their child is either inpatient or outpatient. All the kinds of things a family would have at home, we provide for them here so that they don’t have to worry about those things. They can really focus their energy on their child. We also have a Ronald McDonald family-room programs in four local hospitals, and that’s kind of a mini-Ronald McDonald House right in the hospital, that we provide. Same things that we do here at the house. We also have our care-mobile, which is a mobile dental unit that goes to undeserved areas to provide dental services. We have our star-center, which is an outpatient center, Cleveland Clinic, and that’s for families that have a child, that is receiving outpatient treatment, have siblings,don’t know what to do with them. It’s impeding them to get to their appointments. We take care of that child for them, so that the child that needs treatment can go to get their medical treatment.

How can Fox viewers get more involved with volunteering and or donating to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio?

They can come visit us at our website, which is our rmhcneo.org and they’ll be links to all kinds of opportunities, whether it’s volunteering or donating to the organization. We also taking in-kind donations, which list items. So, that is all listed on the website.

Well, Craig, thank you for having us. It’s great to be here and see your facilities and thank you from everybody in Northeast Ohio for everything that you do for our community. And it’s been great talking to you!

To learn more about how you can help go to rmhcneo.org AND to nominate a person or organization to be featured on an upcoming episode visit kauliggiving.com/clevelandsown Make it a great day!