Run for the House generates $60,000 for Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan hosted their annual Run for the House in Okemos Saturday morning and raised approximately $60,000 for the nonprofit organization.
The Ronald McDonald House is a 24/7 "home away from home" for families of children who are under hospital or clinical care. The Mid-Michigan House primarily serves Sparrow Hospital families but will serve any family that has a child receiving medical treatment at any hospital.
Three runs were held at the event: a 10k run, a 5k run/walk and kid's fun run/sprint.
One of the 5k runners, Haslett resident Tina Spiller, knew of a couple who used the Ronald McDonald House while their daughter was at a local hospital and decided to run to help raise money for the organization.
“They had a daughter, she had a heart defect, but she died, but they were in the Ronald McDonald House for a couple months while their daughter was getting heart surgery,” Spiller said.
The more runners who attend the Run for the House, the more money the organization has to help families, and each year the run generates a larger crowd.
“We started off in 2001 with 25 people in our driveway and last year we had 1,094 runners, so we’ve grown really well over the past few years here,” community outreach coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan Michelle Weinfeld said.
Families who have ill children in hospitals might have to spend days, weeks and even months in those hospitals caring for their child with no genuine comfort.
“It all depends on the child’s treatment plan, but we on average probably see families for about two weeks," executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan Carolyn Hurst said. "Some of our families just stay one overnight and other families will stay many, many months."
Members of The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan believe the only worry families should have is their children in those hospitals and making sure they heal and have support.
“We provide (families) with that warm and friendly environment so that kind of stress of having a hot meal, having a bed, having a hot shower at the end of the day, those kinds of things, they don’t have to worry about that,” Weinfeld said. “We’ll provide all of that for them and all they have to do is just focus on their child over at the hospital.”
When families check into the House they receive their own private bedroom and bathroom. Laundry rooms are available for the families to use as well as a fully-stocked kitchen and pantry. There is a $10 overnight donation request, but the a family is never turned away for inability to pay.
The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan was founded in 2000 and is one of four houses in Michigan. There are locations in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. All the houses have different referral hospitals and medical facilities they take families from, but they will also accommodate families outside of their referral areas.