The smell of lasagna filled the Loma Linda Ronald Mcdonald House Tuesday. The beds were made and lunch was served by volunteers. For families staying there, it’s their home away from home while their children are hospitalized at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for days or months.
Nearly half of the families staying there are from the Coachella Valley.
“I don’t have the resources to go back and forth so staying here has truly been a big help,” said Ashanta Davis of Palm Springs.
Parents shared a common hope, that their children will recover and go home with them soon. Painfully, not all of them do. The house gives them a safe and close place to take care of themselves while the hospital cares for their young ones.
In the next several years, the LLU Children’s Hospital will begin expanding, doubling its current capacity for care, that means now is the time to make room for even more families who need the Ronald McDonald House. The nonprofit often will house families at nearby hotels because of the overflow of guests.
“The house is at capacity. We can’t take very many more families,” said Dick Shalhoub, McDonald’s owner in the Coachella Valley.
The Ronald Mcdonald House wants to expand too with a $15 million project. It launched a fundraising campaign that would help with renovations and the expansion. The plan is to build three-story towers directly to the east and west of the existing house, taking it from 21 guest rooms to 54.
“When their children are afflicted they need to be near, you can’t be commuting two hours each way to be there for your children,” Shalhoub said.
For ways you can help donate, go to www.llrmh.org