LBISD RonaldMcDonaldHouseCharities

Friday, March 23rd


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living better in San Diego public service presentation of the Ana com San Diego radio stage. And Gary Lee. Ronald McDonald house charity supports families with children and local hospitals. They offer various services so that families can better focus on what really matters and that's caring for their critically ill or injured child. Joining us this morning is Ronald McDonald House Charities president and CEO chuck day and Ronald McDonald house volunteer Allison played. Welcome Geoff welcome Alison. Good morning during my thinking about it. Let's start check with that with your background information on. Ronald McDonald. Else cares about this this is an organization and gained a lot of people probably familiar with but. Mean I don't know much about when she tells little bit about the organization both thank you gash run our thirtieth year now here this inaugural McDonald house we open our doors back in 1980 where we currently. Are right next to Children's Hospital. She kind of change in our we open our original house just down the road from where we are today. And that we got back field house earlier this year it's always come together we went from 47 rooms a few months ago or up to 55 rooms for families with a child or medical crisis. Been around since 1980 when we opened at first counseling and twelve rooms and really tough a place for families with childhood cancer and all that was a place it was just a great result of some families who have been through that. And they got together and built the first drama doll house of San Diego and the Ronald McDonald house since kind of familiar it started originally in 1974 we built our. Our twentieth house here in San Diego in 1980. And today there are 365. Ronald McDonald houses around the world. A lot of people know the name but not everybody knows it we really are devoted to families with a child or medical crisis. Now how many are there here in it's just the one just just just one it's right across the street from rated children's and around the corner from sharp Mary birch. That's the big house where the 47 rooms are open and then July 2009. And just up the road last July we got back to original house of hope in the 1980. And those twelve rooms our open to families and so together 55 rooms Trafalis. And but does the lodging areas and it's in three separate. Two separate location did question the big one on the we call the north house okay yeah. And of course the one right by ratings you can't sickest it's got Ronald sitting outside this does absolutely and if you're driving on unified real serious sum up on top of errors the seventh floor of their parking structure for well. Now what is what is the mission and it Ronald McDonald. House charities to provide a home away from home for families with a child or medical crisis. And typically for us and is hospitalized child. And as you can think of today and child in the hospital is there because they are in serious medical condition. Is it a life threatening conditions does it have to be that well criteria not necessarily life threatening condition but when we're talking about children coming to us they are all in some form of serious medical crisis a crisis that may last few days or may last months or sometimes a do over year. So we are there for families who have this child and then in inpatient setting. At rate children's insurer Mary birch. That could be develop their remote possibility Kaiser Permanente news yesterday. So families in this situation when they have to be disclosed by us again so it doesn't have to be re children's or sharp. And it absolutely not in fact we you know we do our best to try to servicemen hospitals as we can. Although as you can imagine Brady children's is especially center for care in San Diego. And chart Mary birch has incredible. Piracy and for delivery program so between those two those are the vast majority of patience patience demonstration. Now it is Ronald McDonald house the only organization of its kind in San Diego well we are focused solely on pediatrics families with kids. There's a wonderful program and you shifty with the Bannister house and a great program the Fisher house at bubble never medical center. So those two programs provide support for families but we hear are solely dedicated for pediatric patients and their families and our. Really our role is to keep families close. Now I understand back in that. Quite fifteenth you. Or name the most admired CEO by the city business journals in the small nonprofit category. How does that feel the need to be recognized like that well about this not me it's really the team that I had the pleasure working with and we together have been in it and put our place ourselves in position to do well for families in crisis and that was a tremendous honor for me that really reflects the work that we do with the house. More than sixty employees now are involved in some way and what we do be it working in our kitchen to help provide breakfast lunch and dinner. Or make sure we get on fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald house as we are non profit in San Diego depend completely on our our our community help support us. So it's really was for me at a recognition of a great team how important is it for families to be. Near their child when their hospitalized what what kind of benefits wealthy and a prior life there was a radio children's working and one of the things we used to discover their was what. With families close they can do a lot to help them the caregivers support their child going through that process. Keeping families close is what I kind of our you know our secondary mission if you want to keep them close we know that children have a better chance of getting better faster. Can you imagine not having your mom and dad and room and you know helping and I cares just as something that. I think my friend Allison might be able to talk. Too because it's the patient experiences such that you know you want your child to be supported and that's kind of where respectful to get to get a lot of people from out of the state or from other parts of California that that's kind of the house rated children's is a tremendous especially care hospital for pediatric patients and that that kind of care attract people from all over the country. We have a number of cameras from the Pacific islands we have several families from the southwest United States Arizona Nevada. They go up in the Riverside County when they come down this way. And then of course never a huge number of families of the stay with us or access is who appearance and you must talk about some of your services and and we touched on. On one already and that's the lodging friend again how many dads fell thirty rooms have 55 rooms and they almost all have double queen sized beds is some even have pulled out couches. On average we see about 43. And a half to four if you do the number average some of the words mom and dad and a sibling. We'll be taking care of the family at thinkers can be tinkered with child who's in the hospital next door. So we see a lot of family groups here at their own doll house and our job again is right the kind of support network is gonna get them. To feel like they can go to the bedside come back get refreshed and kind of may be rejuvenated it may go back to the bedside do what they do and hopefully keep the sandwich together. You mentioned support services are there. Support services at the house in up and am absolutely for us we think in a one thing next being close to make sure there's a hot meal so whether or not you're staying with us or you're not staying able to say it was because were full. And year out the hostile act or you can come see us for breakfast lunch and dinner 365 days a year. If you need to get your child's. Close claim our laundry facilities right next door their open for free of charge on the way requires that people have a child in the hospital have a hospital van that indicates that they have an inpatient. And then we also have any number of things like Wi-Fi throughout we're talking about in recent big computer lab Ella when it started seven years ago now everybody is Wi-Fi. We have TV rooms for films together and relaxed we have a teachers I'd. That we do for those families staying with us it's you know we have when there's a sibling on site we wanna make sure that they have a chance to be in school so we have a school away from school. Thanks in San Diego unified school district. I want talk about that your little bit but some of the things that you just mentioned laundry facilities in and Wi-Fi that's all part of your family cares doubt the big name port is a fairly care center so that just means were so close of the hospitals that people can come and uses even if they can't stay with us and I have to say that your answer the real story here is are we have 55 rounds and we have a waiting list of about thirty cameras for a night. So there's always a demand and so being so close of the hospitals allows us to provide that actual level of service to families and it's been. It's been great for me to be able to say I can't get to win but come in and have breakfast lunch dinner. Use our play yards for your kids who use our laundry facilities will do our investigation and we can't but. Right now our house useful and and it aside from the ID bracelet. What else is required and for some to stay with just stay with wrestling for remaining in our our staff because the situation more awful is simply that we have great social workers at these hospitals to make referrals to us and they give us the families that they believe. And they BC news is the most and so with that referral. Comes comes the opportunity to be at the house and all on that idea band for the and the care center. Is politics again on the door and we don't charge for meals or any of the other services we provide. And when you're saying whether it's just kind of round that out. We ask for donation of twenty dollars per night but as you can imagine in this situation. Families have more than their share financial burdens and so we sell them see that we just go out and work with community to raise money necessary to throw announced. Families view you put up your facilities. In any year though thank you I was just looking at debt and and today is a matter of fact that we had just over thirteen hundred different families saying with a us. But the launching nights was over 161000 meaning you know we are completely full so we do the math and you know every night the house useful. In May you have if a little bit of a change overs so we're like 9697%. Occupied at all times that's over 60000 room nights here so so all the people that statement. At the house are referred by the social workers that makes a big difference dressed as women are coming in coming into us a social worker makes referral would give him onto the waiting list we'll get the men as quickly as we can. There are three criteria for us one is geography. How far away is the family as you can imagine in San Diego if you live in the north counting you know I don't wanna try to do a drive back and forth. Second is severity or acuity of illness and third is that referral from a social worker. And with those two things together we'll do our best to make sure we can account is beneath him was this weekend and the child have to be hospitalized for them to. Take advantage of the lodging that's correct then put qualifier on though for example one of our families from Hawaii would come over and they've had their first heart surgery. Then the child will off to recover in the hospital and then be discharged in the house but because they're fragile so fragile they need to stay close by so they'll say when this until the next surgery. So there's. Hospitalization or need to be close by as determined by the medical staff and how long can can and the state well. And the unfortunate record is 580 days well over a year but there is no limit we do our best to care for families as long as they need us and as long as the team of social workers and medical medical professionals say we need this this family's closest possible. They'll be a time when things maybe get better and they don't have to be in the house and then we can ask people to check out for awhile. And then if you come back into the house if necessary but for the most part our job is to be there is on the sensor and real sweet that touched on that. Briefly free meal today have 365 days a year. Actually with you ought to be simply it's great go to our house on Thanksgiving we had an incredible Thanksgiving meal this year over thirty turkeys. At our house prepared by volunteers answered the challenge her across the street came over there are so. You know we're busy reading of the year. And and where these meals cooked well Alison knows a lot about where meals are correct because we have a an actual commercial kitchen at the Ronald McDonald house. And you're able to serve in any given time a 150 to 200 meals person for lunch dinner or breakfast when it comes through their practice that busy time. For example how many did get Allison going to be she has lots of stories to tell that. When the when this incredible company comes and deserve what what to do for us is they take over the kitchen and they work on our staff to make sure that it. 7 o'clock or 12 o'clock or 6 o'clock the meal was ready and for an hour and a half people come in through the front door. For the people coming out of their rooms can find the hot meal and a hot meal can be any any any kind you can think of that can bring an end and cook it will help them cook it. But they're they're running in the kitchen ports so you have you have cooking stations ball well that people look at the O'Neal right not to offend Allison entertainment ever lost a moms and dads want something familiar so we do have a family kitchen and so they're going to make their own mail you know it will get a not to move to the local. You know stores and Wal-Mart. They can buy food they're familiar with the cook there Romeo. But Allison entertainment for example are writing about a 1161000. Meals at the Ronald McDonald house for the families who serve. Kind of meals Serafin osu nutritional well I think he'd. If balance. Getting spectacles. You've done. Burgers and hot and sometimes you seasonal except there's always a salad bar dessert. Average season. Those is that basically what you do you volunteer there. Yeah we recap men and we'd bring the food we prepare the food and serve food. Two of the family is firm whenever mile is that we have signed up to you and and again no cost for anybody using the or coming in did. Have a meal that's correct yeah that's part of our agreement whether these great volunteers like those from worth point where Ellison's team is commending they can come and bring the two more. Provided donation person by the through part of that agreement with buses those mills are provided free of charge and so we do get other food donations from all over San Diego through feeding America understanding of food bank. So more collaborative partners to make that possible but it's what. Folks like Alison and her her team does when it come and answer that mail it just allows us to do so much for families at a time when. I can't even imagine what it's going through what they're gone through and you have a pantry of well yeah. It's a 24 hour operation. Eight ton of food about both ends if they're not there during mealtime we either have a snack bag for the banner front desk which is also staffed by volunteers or they walked into the pantry and can open up and find a got the super cup wrote a drama noodle or whatever they might need help get them through until next meal is now as a true multi you. Her true love fresh fruit out there is there's always music almost always upon a fairly fresh copy of that extra fresh coffee. And in a fruitful and and some snacks and in the pantry the folks in the back and access and sometimes you don't see found his command that's usually mom and dad made maybe the siblings and made his grandparents in town we're gonna try to handle. As many of those folks as we can make sure you know that they feel comfortable and they can get back to that site as quickly as it can with a little bit through them. Now we we mentioned can care center on Sunday talk more about it so the other things that you have there and in this is basically for the day visitors yeah. So the family care center is that program that opens our doors for meals opened our doors for use of our facility including a laundry room and also our salon where we have volunteer hair styles come and give you Erica. You can also find our exercise facilities and when you walk in there. You basically find treadmills and waits and then a weight machine you can work down on and then right next or something we call Phil he restored its bosh hours which are basically each hours. That somebody made a wonderful donation to just to create a grates on virus for them I mean the multiple shower heads and everything that goes with people and can get a shower. After they've worked out go get a cup of coffee for us in the morning or whatever they need to have breakfast or lunch and then go right back in the hospital that's sound kind of like tea five star hotel with me. Well at NASA as we say it it's not not the Ritz but it is a very nice place to be and make you feel like you walked into place that you wanna be if you well. A push you can be to step away from what you're going through next door. Right and which is which is needed for the Stanley they have facilities that sadly as well. Library and game and you are in our TV sinner which I hate to say this stereo out used to be kinda like chargers Romanoff to charges memorabilia if you thought the women's assets gay men and sort of decorating force now it's turning into a San Diego State room which we like and then on the other side and our south side to San Diego Padres in the Fowler family came in and created one heck of a playroom Padres famed. With some signatures from hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman and all of the other fighters who came to visit when we've window grand opening while back. So it's really great places right now are near played I can have a chance that kids can come in and find a place to read a place to play. And you can imagine. It's great in analysis and care senate. Families have access to referrals. Four support groups and communities resources as well so when our family checked out we try to. Arm them with as many resources as we can if they're going back for example in pearl valley what are the support mechanisms there that they can find the going up and of the Riverside area what are the groups of there if you know they have heart patients. Or they're going through cancer care that they can they can find resources that are so for us. Extending that little network of of support into the home once they're gone as one of the one of the things it kind of helps us feel better about our fact that we think can help them throughout the continuum of care of the child. And I love that you have the education and enrichment program as well for his siblings. Better there it's your your school away from school program that this this runs during the regular school year it absolutely does and understanding unified school district provides a wonderful feature in two raids that we provide the kids and one of the rules of the Romans doll house as we well we love kids but those kids need to be in school. On a home program or some other home study program so. Quite often though come in and our teacher will help them enrollment sandy and unified school district for as long as they're there. And then they just go back to their home school district in the meantime our teacher will talk to go home district fund or they are and how they can support up. This is for families are staying with us on site so that this is part of our our resident just broke up. And then when they go back to their school and they get credit. I'm for the work that they did while they were away absolutely absolutely correct because it's all California standards driven stuff and if we have found is coming from out of state again we'll do our best suited to align with the standards at those particular states and as well that's a great effort by. Some tremendous educators to come into the house to do that now we have teachers have come out and open up camp Ronald McDonald when you know when the brakes come. We'll have some credentialed teachers should not be retired come back and help Pastrana non school program which stresses are a lot of great collaborative trips and anywhere from sea world. Let go lands. Down to the new Children's Museum downtown all over the San Diego County just to get folks out away from the house for awhile. If your mind off what's gonna absolutely. Been out Allison your chief operating officer at worth point before we get into what you do a little bit more about what you do. At Ronald McDonald house and tell us just a little bit about your your company. We are game wealth management company here in need and we house offices and cost and Allison park or we provide comprehensive wealth management's view families. In the area and they bring it. Full team up to ten or twelve people to come in and take over the kitchen forests they relieve us of staff costs they go in and it worked from beginning to end of the shift. Clients and as you watch the dinner hour yeah that or I am and I so so again and then it's not just you that's volunteering this is this isn't a big part of worth point right. It's our culture we've put together a team and we come as often as you can we bring clients we bring our kids' teachers. We've tied principles from our employees kids' schools come with us so we put together a team and we commend and we. Do you volunteer meal service that had people come in and play music. And Adam craft time can you crops there's a million ways to volunteer and how many years have you personally been volunteering since 2014. And what brought you. To rob McDonald of all the non profits in San Diego County why Iran now well when my daughter is one. In 2013. She had a complex era he's there this evening classes 45 minutes. And she was brought to children and they didn't know positive for us about it maybe meningitis. And so we have been our children for Friday. And I think the second day I was there I was. I don't think we've eaten in 48 hours I was emotionally drained physically drains. And one of the nurses had suggested that I go across the street to around McDonald house and breakfast. And I've heard of it but I didn't know what it was or what they did and Munich and new but I thought it was just for people to stay there. And anti. I went over there and it was the best experience I mean I went in there and being. Gave me breakfast and told me that whereas I can and a nice quiet spot taken that. And take a shower and it was amazing and so then authorities that I was there are my daughter with children's and that we take advantage of the Ronald McDonald house. And in 2015. I have a son was born six weeks earlier this after I was already a volunteer at around town house. And he was in the nick for two weeks and so I had the opportunity to use the services there again and stay close to my son while he was an an acute for two weeks. And that's when and you a lot of people there so often so what what you get out of volunteering and doing the work that you do there it feels good. I mean I know what it's like to be on the receiving end. And I know that you know when your kid is boring. There's no one on the earth that has the power to bring you as much joy or as much straps. And that's how do you kid and so these families that are coming in at their most vulnerable point in their lives like him at his critically ill. And so it's nice to know that you and how. Give them some comfort. And take care of them just a little bit. I must say that every time somebody comes in and they have the little blue Mickey sticker on New Hampshire again conflict on the kitchen. I think they get a little weight being just because I know that pain and I idea because I love it and I think it's a wonderful place. What what about you co workers had a they feel about doing this is is this not a mandatory thing for them to do right no absolutely not and I think everybody loves it's a great place to volunteers beat in Queens. Are very grateful and we almost I'll have kids. And our clients have kids and I think everybody recognizes. What a valuable service that is hands we have we don't ever really have a hard time finding people that wanna come. Because it's it's a great place to be. And it's got to feel good it does them what you do. My everything. Now volunteering a big part of Ronald McDonald House Charities. How does somebody get involved how can somebody do what else in his. Well it's after it's very easy go to our website RM HCS. And and find out ways you can help them there's this chance to volunteer and I have to tell you because of our volunteers that from a tunnel how's my goodness from the front desk to working in the kitchens forest we serve meals to traveling around collecting. Food donations for our kitchen to. Helping many of them helped clean the rooms we have military volunteers come and every every Thursday for example and to a project for us and it's incredible what it does force you can imagine it's insists our staff costs. It involves people who are very real level terms of what we do and our mission. That allows us to really make sure that our house is a specials can possibly be more than 500 volunteers among commencement house. To help us each month it's it's kind of the way it is with with pretty much. Any nonprofit. Volunteers are the backbone. Your organization and others as well do you accept food donations to we absolutely do but we arts as we are providing food for commercial kitchen it has to be that kind of new food in other words store bought food or if it's donated would come from come from a restaurant directly to a commercial kitchen to our commercial kitchen or you can buy those raw ingredients if you're gonna be like in commending cook it reducing to bring in cocoa on site. Can make sure that we keep the level of quality and safety. As high as possible for families. As the that would be one of those things that we do get about a half million dollars a year and donated food here and throughout the San Diego network. Now if you are gonna do like like Allison and cook the meals and anything. That is required. Of that person that we we've got you down witness Ellison knows you have you closed toed shoes you have your. And that they have to be willing and a. And in theory that's right the eighteenth or Friday and did you manage to help blocking threat the first couple of times it's really intimidating because you're showing up quickly. Chuck full of food you only had a day commercial cost on my way and and Adam yeah event bunch of food and you're cooking for 200 people and it actually being really intimidating but. They have someone to help you and it's. Really not a part and a strength keep it simple and everybody likes to get a different brand in salad and taco bars them. He's your time right kinds of who we try to cross the spectrum all of that make it as healthy as we can but have that kind of you know it kind of food you like connect kind of stressful time. Things you're familiar with we're not gonna do anything to you need crazy now dancer and by the do you ever get any any professional chefs coming in to help it. Well we do we get a lot of executive chefs coming out of the hole fell under shall come and help us out and one of my highlights every year is is a visit from either the hard rock. Or most recently we have a catering crew down from label and and they brought in some brisket that you wouldn't leave heinous apps that. OK I table and well they've brought their whole step down anxious or breakfast and lunch forests and the logo and team is unbelievable what we do we look for those pros and commend our staff learned from them. And big gain in knowledge in and they come in just purchase of the Mexico. Now we've got just a few minutes left that it wanted to touch on a couple of events that you got coming up acute yet events throughout the year don't we absolutely do. We do raise about cash about 90% or funds come from the community about 10% comes from our founding mission partners McDonald's and the local owner operators that operate here in San Diego. But we asked our our community's support us and they've been wonderful event since Fire Island since well before and throughout throughout. Our gosh 37 years. But we do have a lot of groups coming in for example. March 18 and happens to be coming up right now she Daniel K club will have very extravaganza at the Del Mar fairgrounds and you can walk throughout there and find some of the most. Interest and take arts if you will professional kicker to an ever mentioned. At the Del Mar fairgrounds on the eighteenth of march. And then later in the month of two guys Carlson Matt have created event called dinner with friends that started as a dinner just for the house. And they thought about us and we can may be raised little money and so. They got a few friends together the next year and now they're this event brings out over 200 people to the house is celebrate and enjoy dinner with our families. And raise a bunch of money for Ronald McDonald house. That's right now that that case event going on today yes it does it take today and it didn't close out about 3 o'clock and don't if you have a chance you won a lot can enjoy. The Del Mar fairgrounds today to see some incredible art and you'll also find some incredible take of course. Normally an and the money raised from these advanced as you go to any one particular program or service or just into the main fund many times it goes right to the main thought but there are some events and say I'd like you to go to supporter of food program awards to support families from Florida and able to contribute it can be designated in any way that we find necessary we'll be glad to talk about them. Can't somebody wants to help you with your mission to make a donation committee did add to list of course. Our image CST dot all RG. There's a donate button there thank you for that we appreciate contributions. Oh also though there's a wish list there and if you see some things you like to donate to help support the house it would be incredible have that wishes him and it runs from brooms and mops Q. Towels and pillow cases and blankets and all the things we need to operate both the hotel. And this incredible feeding kitchen. To make sure that we have food for everybody and all the things that make our our operations doses of wishlists there as well. And website one more time. RM HC EST dot orgy and social media oh yeah absolutely we're you know we're on FaceBook and Twitter and mr. Graham as well salute all kinds of things out there you can find about us they're all you connect all through our website as well that goes forward. But I have to tell you the person Lamar right now and that incredible came in on the and they come and work porn there's just such a great job and that is who San Diego is sad is people giving and helping and supporting each other. We just wanna say thanks again to Alison and her team for coming in you check. And events yes. They can find information about events on the way that I do well they'll be highlight it right on the front next big one coming up by the later on volunteers June 21 read shooting in San Diego which is our street corner fund raiser rival a bunch of excised from fourteen while MacDonald she's raising cash for the but the house is well that's another fun one. I was here you folks out on the streets that day thank you and you do that every year and Alison shameless plug what's your. What's your website worth pointing best dot com and our north social media of chug it Nelson thanks for being on the show. I appreciated and that chuck thanks for all that you do. It Ronald McDonald House Charities and Allison for all you and your fellow workers at what point do thank you for your volunteering its appreciated thanks for having. Gary thank you so much. That includes another addition of living better in San Diego the opinions expressed on living there San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views. Of the staff and management at the end of com San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Starting next week when my guest will be from right above disability. Until then I'm Gary later after gratefully.