In the last 18 months, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central PA, like many nonprofits, has had to pivot or suspend services during COVID. But mostly, the pandemic has challenged it to think more creatively and be more innovative in the way it serves families to keep them near each other and the resources they need.
To continue serving families while meeting all safety guidelines when COVID hit, Ronald McDonald House Charities partnered with local hotels to provide 1,746 overnight stays for families who had been unable to stay at the Ronald McDonald House for various reasons.
After suspending its Guest Chef program, it also partnered with local restaurants to provide approximately 2,700 nourishing meals for families. In addition, it provided snacks, breakfast items, small activities, coffee and other sundries to the pediatric Child Life team for distribution at Lancaster General Hospital when its Kiosk program there had to be suspended due to the pandemic and more recently a lack of volunteers.
All of these endeavors were made possible, at no charge to families, through the creation of two new funding streams that paid for hotel stays and meals for families and through the generous support of its WishList by its community champions.
Pivoting to virtual special events, new target marketing endeavors around Mother’s Day and the Round-Up option at local McDonald’s restaurants, and creating an Adopt-A-Room program all helped to add additional revenue in support of the new ways Ronald McDonald House Charities has been aiding families.
“While COVID has changed our environment, it has not changed our mission,” said Karla Mitchell, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central PA. “We have had to make some significant changes in the way we work over the last two years, but it hasn’t stopped us from serving families who need us during one of the most critical times of their lives.”