When I say I work at the Ronald McDonald House, I’m often met by 3 sentences:
- Like, what is that? Ronald McDonald House is a place families can go when their child is in the hospital instead of having to drive back and forth from their own home which may be very far away.
- Oh, that is so great you help the children! We do help children, and mostly we help the whole family stay together while a critically ill child is in the hospital. A lot of times, our House is full with parents and siblings. We LOVE when families bring their kiddo to meet us before they head home! We do see the children when they are here for check-ups or making sure they are 100% before they head home.
- Does that mean you are flipping patties? *Insert laughter of joke-sayer here* It’s funnier every time, I swear
I think in honor of “Ask a Stupid Question Day**” this fine September28th, I’d like to break down some of the more common questions about Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley. We do feature many FAQ’s on our website, but sometimes that doesn’t encompass everything we do so I put out a call for questions! Here’s what we were asked through social media.
**No question is a stupid question.
Is your House a hotel?
When we were building our new House, we took a lot of notes from how different Ronald McDonald Houses and hotels operate. Our new House is efficient for families and has a ton of space! We stole a few ideas from hotels (like staff laundry behind the front desk!) and our rooms themselves are very hotel-like with bathrooms en suite. Our House is so much more than a place to sleep!
Is it first come, first serve?
Yes. Most families are referred to us by their care staff in the hospital. Once families know they will need to stay in Fargo, they call us and begin our intake process. Once a family checks-in, they can stay as long as they need to
Where do people typically go if the House is full?
Good question! We have been fortunate since opening the new location that most of the time we have not been full. If we are, we have partnerships with local Hotels that help families with a discounted rate. We add them to a waiting list and call them the minute a room opens up!
Is it set up like a dorm?
Our House is a mash-up of a family home with hotel-styled rooms. Families are greeted with huge communal kitchens, a dining room, and two playrooms on the first floor. The second and third floor are set up hotel style where each room has 2 queen beds and their own private bathroom.
What amenities are in the House?
We are excited to offer three full kitchens, two laundry rooms, a small gym, and two playrooms – one for younger kids and another for older kids & adults. Our House allows parents to be close to their children while being able to relax a little bit as well. It is our goal to have everything that you would have at your own home here.
Do you still have your other two locations open?
No. Our new location was a consolidation and expansion. We are excited to be back under one roof caring for families better than ever before.
What is the most popular baked good at the House?
Great question! We have so many goodies – and they always get gobbled up fast! Some of the most popular are Rice Krispy treats, muffins, or chocolate chip cookies.
I hope these questions gave you a better insight into what we do every day. At the end of the day, our mission is still the same: Keeping families together while providing the comforts of home as their children are receiving medical care.