The Ronald McDonald House of Central New York is hoping the spirit of Christmas giving will help them drum up donations for their annual Christmas in July Campaign. The home opened the doors of its new location in December of 2012 in Syracuse.
The need for the spacious accommodations for families traveling out of town because their children are being cared for locally has grown ever since. Executive Director Beth Trunfio explains the additional rooms at the house have been filling up.
“We are seeing more families. Our occupancy for our night stay was up 85 percent from the previous home to the new home. So, with that growth and those growth in families; so is their needs and our supplies from a day to day basis.”
The Ronald McDonald house kicked-off its annual Christmas in July campaign on the first of the month. Trunfio says they’ve been receiving donations from their wish list for the month-long drive. Basically, the list includes all of the weekly items needed to run a household and feeding a family.
“Snacky items because people will have lunch here, make their own lunch and take it with them to the hospital. Additionally, items such as cleaning supplies because we need to keep things nice and tidy, as well. We don’t want them to think about a thing when they are here at the Ronald McDonald House other than the care of their children and their journey to wellness.”
Trunfio says gifts cards are also a good way to make a donation because they can buy perishable items such as eggs, bagels and mayonnaise, when needed. The cost to host a family of four at the house easily exceeds $260 a night. Families are only charged a nominal $20 a night; that’s why they look to the community for help year-round. And some families travel very far because of their ill sons or daughters.
“We’re very fortunate, we have extraordinary medical Care in this community for neonates for moms who are high risk pregnancies. It’s a new guest population that we’re serving in our new home and all of the pediatric service lines, as well. So, we are very fortunate, those of us who live close by and access it so quickly. But, folks come from all over the region and really all over the world to receive some of this care.”
When asked about parent’s personal journeys while they stay, Trunfio is uncertain. However, she recently heard from a Mother who expressed her thankfulness for something money can’t buy.
“She said it was so comforting to sit down with a home-cooked meal and to be at a table with other families… and to be able to get to know them and really talk through what kind of day that they had. So, I like to think that, that’s really the most magical thing that happens here at the Ronald McDonald House is that sense of camaraderie and that emotional support that they receive from others.”
Trunfio says the Christmas in July drive is often spread by word of mouth through neighbors, co-workers and others who spend the entire month collecting new items. The final drop-off day happens on July 31st from 9 AM to 6PM at the home at 1100 E. Genesee Street but, Trunfio says they’ll accept items in advance. To view their wish list click here.