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March 18 RMHC Update Regarding COVID-19

March 18, 2020

How we act and what we do as a system directly translates into how we care for children and their families … the communities in which they live and the communities in which our Ronald McDonald House Charities® family lives.  We continue to hold fast to our values – to lean into the situation and to lean on each other for strength, encouragement and inspiration.

In addition to our deep commitment to the care of families we serve in our Houses, I want to focus on the importance of self-care and care for our own families and colleagues.  Today, I want to share what today’s reality looks like within our global system.

RMHC Global is issuing a directive for all Chapters to suspend accepting new families into the Ronald McDonald House® program beginning Saturday, March 21 for a period of no less than 21 daysThe 21-Day suspension will be re-assessed periodically, and further advisement will follow.  Families currently staying at a House may remain, as long as the management structure is able to sustain operations. As guest families checkout of the House, guest rooms will remain open.

These decisions were arrived at after considerable information gathering, consultation with experts, ever-changing hospital protocols, conversations with other Chapters, deep contemplation and an awareness of the impact it will have on the children and families we seek to support, as well as on you.

The hard reality is that our programs – where families come together from places far and wide – put people at risk and add to the spread of the virus.  It is important that we maintain the high level of trust people place in RMHC to prioritize the public health of the communities in which we serve.

We are committed to being a model organization that places the health and well-being of the people in our organization, the children and families we serve, and the communities in which we live at the highest priority. To that end, as we maintain operations for the families that are currently in the House, we have immediately instituted closures of the communal spaces within the House facility.  We will continue working through logistics to continue to provide families with dinner each night and grab and go snacks throughout the day.

Our Global team is in discussion with global hotel chains seeking to establish housing opportunities for families we are not able to support at this time. I will keep you posted.

I end this communication by restating my commitment to you, our hospital partners, and to the sustainability of our mission far, far into the future. I will continue to assess the situation from all angles – global health and government requirements and advice, programmatic impacts, financial implications and public trust.   We are in this together.

Together, we are strong – we are resilient – and we will maintain our steady focus on doing what is right for our organization and the children and families we serve in the long-term … ever striving to make the right decisions at the right time and then doing our very best.

With gratitude,

Kerry Schulman
Chief Executive Officer