February 18, 2018

Souper Bowl! 2/7

souper_change3Souper Bowl!

Sunday, February 7 | Gathering Area

Our youth will be in the Gathering area asking for your coins to fill our soup pots. Each pot will have the helmet of the Broncos or the Panthers so you can pick the winner with your change.

Every last dime will go towards the dinner the youth will make for the residents of Ronald McDonald House.

Who’s gonna win the super bowl? Let’s guess with our change for a wonderful cause! Questions? Contact Barb Kuhlmann, barbk@parkwayucc.org

Ronald McDonald House

ronald-mcdonald-kids-240Ronald McDonald House
Lisa Mason, CRR
To provide a “home-away-from-home” to families of seriously ill children and support to organizations that serve the needs of children.

The RMH website (rmhcstl.com) explains the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ beginning:
In 1973, Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill and his wife, Fran, learned that their daughter, Kim, had leukemia. While traveling into Philadelphia for treatment, they met other families who drove hours to the hospital to be with their children, only to sleep in waiting room chairs and to eat from vending machines. Hill and his team partnered with local McDonald’s Owner/Operators to raise money and purchase a house near the hospital where these families could stay. Since that time, more than 300 Houses have been built worldwide.
Local History

In 1981, the first St. Louis Ronald McDonald House was opened on West Pine Boulevard in the Central West End. A second House on Park Avenue was opened in 1996 near SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, and in 2003, eight apartments became available for long-term stays. In 2010, a third Ronald McDonald House (the 300th in the world) was built on the campus of Mercy Children’s Hospital on Ballas to serve West County hospitals.

These Houses provide a comfortable home for families to stay near the hospital treating their children. Families are asked for a $15 donation per night, but no family is turned away based on ability to pay. Families with a child 18 or younger who live at least 50 miles from St. Louis are eligible for referral by the hospital’s social services department to stay at a House.
Each family staying at RMH has a private bedroom; the West Pine facility has community bathrooms, and the Park Avenue and West County facilities have private bathrooms. Free laundry facilities, community TV rooms and playrooms accommodate basic needs and encourage support through others in similar situations. As families travel from around the world for treatment in St. Louis, limited transportation is also available.

Volunteers provide dinner each night, and breakfast is provided on weekends. This is the third year Parkway UCC youth and adults have prepared dinner for the West County House guests. Although many families are still at the hospital during the dinner hour, the leftovers are waiting for their return after visiting hours. Our youth have also enjoyed playing with some patients (who are recuperating or receiving treatments that do not require constant hospitalization) and their siblings. We sincerely appreciate the congregation’s support to fund the food purchases for the 50-60 guests.

Two Lesser-Known RMH Services
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide rest, snacks and other support in the hospital itself for families with a hospitalized child. St. Louis has these Family Rooms at Mercy Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon.
In 2013, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile was created through a partnership with the Eye Care Charity of Mid-America. The Care Mobile travels to schools throughout the St. Louis area to provide eye exams and glasses to children of low-income households.
A wish list of household needs is located on the website: http://www.rmhcstl.com/page.aspx?pid=371 if you would like to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis.

An Oasis

An Oasis
Kevin Cameron

We never thought we would be on the receiving end of the mission that is Ronald McDonald House charities!
On and off for decades–in Boston, Bridgeport (CT), Kansas City and St Louis–I had volunteered with meals, landscaping, games/activities for kids and fundraisers.

Then a few years ago one of our kids ended up in the hospital for several days at Mercy Hospital up the street from church. A couple of days into it, our child was able to move about freely and we were given a quick tour of the Ronald McDonald Family Room just off the pediatric wing of the hospital. It’s a mini version of the Ronald McDonald House with a fully stocked kitchen, sitting areas, lounge areas, movie areas, game areas, computer areas…an amazing space for kids in the hospital to forget that they are patients for a while.

Our child was able to visit with some friends from the neighborhood and school in this warm and welcoming space. The rest of our family was able to spread out and have their needs met without being in the cramped quarters of the patient room. It was an oasis. We give thanks for the original dreamer of this kind of space.

We give thanks for the incredible hospitality of the volunteers there. Wow. It was just what we needed in a time of stress and strain.

[Next time you happen to be at Mercy, you should check out the Ronald McDonald Family Room and offer a blessing while you do!]