Provide care and support for families of seriously ill, critically injured or medically fragile children being treated at local area hospitals.

A Ronald McDonald House is a temporary home-away-from-home where the families of children being treated for serious illnesses or critical injuries reside while the child receives treatment at a nearby hospital. It is also a place where children who are receiving outpatient treatment are able to spend time with their families in a warm and cheerful environment.

Children with serious illnesses need more than quality medical attention. They need emotional support and understanding from their families. Families, in turn, need a place where they can draw additional strength and find stability when a child is seriously ill. Families forced to travel a distance to obtain medical care often find that their day-to-day problems are compounded by lengthy separation from home and friends. In order to be close to their children, they may have to choose between paying for expensive accommodations or sleeping in hospital waiting rooms.

At a Ronald McDonald House, the families have a place to rest, away from the atmosphere of a hospital, where they can attempt to lead "normal" lives. Parents are also able to share their worries and concerns with other parents who can empathetically understand the emotional strain placed upon them and who can offer each other support during times of crisis.

1. www.rmhccga.org