Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma has helped more than 12,000 families in our region during their time of need.
Since 1999, the nonprofit has provided a comfortable place to stay for the families of seriously ill children, at no cost, to ease the burden during a difficult time.
“Anything that they would normally do at home, they call this their home away from home,” Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma Marketing Coordinator Courtney Tucker said.
Tucker was quick to point out the homey feeling at the rooms at hospitals in Rogers and Fort Smith, and the house in Fayetteville, are free to those who need them when they need them.
“We don’t even ask for a donation from families,” Tucker explained. “A lot of them do end up coming back and maybe coming to one of our events or sending a donation at the end of the year. But we don’t even talk about money because who wants to worry about money while you’re also racking up hospital bills.”
RMHC of Arkoma services about 2,200 families a year. It takes a lot to help families cope with their children’s medical needs without charging them anything. That is where the community comes in with donations at McDonald’s restaurants with the spare change dropped off in collection boxes.
The owner/operator of many local McDonald’s in our area, Mathews Management Co., enjoys pitching in with its own efforts by delivering hot meals — it’s ‘McDonald’s Mondays’ program.
“We get a team together of roughly five to six employees and they come up here and bring a hot meal to the families that are staying at the Ronald McDonald House,” Mathews Management Area Manager Cody Mathews shared.
Cody Mathews said his company’s role is a natural fit.
“We take pride in the Ronald McDonald House and giving back to our community and we’ve found out that [the] ‘Share a Meal’ [program] is a great opportunity to do that,” Mathews offered.
If you have no change to spare the next time you get a craving for a Big Mac, there is another simple way you can help families at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We keep all of our current wishlist needs up on our website so that people can know, if you’re going to the grocery store, you just grab a couple extra things and drop it off and it makes a huge difference to our families,” Tucker explained.
RMHC of Arkoma operates rooms at Mercy Hospitals in Fort Smith and Rogers as well as the House at Washington Regional in Fayetteville. Their Ronald McDonald Care Mobile brings critical dental services to children in vulnerable communities.