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Ronald McDonald House: A Home Away From Home for Families in Need

Posted at 4:07 PM, Jun 15, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida (RMHCSF) stands as a beacon of hope and support for families with critically ill children who travel to South Florida seeking medical care. Soraya Riviera-Maya, executive director of RMHCSF, joined Inside South Florida to share the incredible work and impact of this cherished organization.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a "home away from home" for families with sick or critically ill children requiring specialized medical treatment. Many of these families travel long distances to access top-tier medical care available in South Florida. RMHCSF offers them a sanctuary where they can stay together and find the support they need during such challenging times.

Imagine a family arriving in South Florida because their child needs an organ transplant. Such treatments often require long-term hospital stays, which can be financially and emotionally overwhelming. RMHCSF helps these families by providing a place to stay that functions much like a hotel, complete with 31 bedrooms. Families can cook their own meals, come and go as they please, and most importantly, they find a community of support among other families facing similar challenges.

"We focus on the family, so the family can focus on the child," Soraya explained. The RMHCSF relieves the financial burden by covering accommodations and providing necessary amenities, ensuring families have a comfortable place to rest and receive emotional support during their child's medical journey.

Soraya has been with RMHCSF for over 20 years, driven by the daily motivation of seeing the resilience and smiles of the children. "Seeing the kids that they're fighting for their health and for their lives and they're smiling… That's my daily motivation," she shared. The entire team at RMHCSF works tirelessly to ensure the families feel supported and comfortable.

After 42 years of operation and serving over 32,000 families, RMHCSF is planning a significant expansion to accommodate the growing need. "We are turning away families because we don't have enough rooms," Soraya noted. To address this, RMHCSF is in the process of building a bigger and better facility with more rooms and amenities. They have secured a location, completed renderings, and floor plans, and are actively raising funds to make this vision a reality.

There are numerous ways to get involved with RMHCSF, whether by volunteering, fundraising, or simply learning more about their mission. "We have volunteering opportunities for anybody here in South Florida to come either doing a meal, with clerical work at the office, or doing fundraising events for us," Soraya said.

For more information on how to support or get involved with the Ronald McDonald House, visit their website www.rmhcsouthflorida.org or call 305-324-5683.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

Inside South Florida is an original, local lifestyle show focused on providing our audience with informative, useful and entertaining content. It features a variety of community organizations, businesses and happenings in South Florida. It is a marketing-friendly program dedicated to offering businesses the opportunity to showcase their company/products, reach potential customers and gain results.

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