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About Us


ABOUT US

We create smiles, comfort and positively impact the lives of children and their families in our community

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About Us


ABOUT US

We create smiles, comfort and positively impact the lives of children and their families in our community

 

IMPACTING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN

Since 2002, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Michiana has provided a loving home-away-from-home for families undergoing a profoundly difficult experience. The families that call upon the services of Ronald McDonald Family Room® are often on an emotional roller coaster ride – caring for their child, coping with the stresses of being away from home and job, all while trying to manage their child's treatment, insurance, financial and job-related concerns.

For some, the House is a place to catch a couple hours of sleep after an all-night bedside vigil. For others, it’s a hot meal and a chance to compare notes with families in similar situations. For the families of seriously ill or injured children, our Family Room provides warm beds, showers, a kitchen, laundry facilities and a playroom – all the comforts of home.

RMCH® of Michiana’s truest comforts don’t come from furnishings and appliances, but rather from the humanity within. There is a small but understanding staff that lives the triumphs and struggles of families. There are hundreds of volunteers from area communities who assist the families every day, helping the families with their daily needs and regularly dropping by to serve up a home-cooked meal or tasty treats. And, of course, there are the families themselves who come together, share common experiences and comfort each other during the most difficult of circumstances.

Located in the Skyway building across from Memorial Hospital, our House has 20 overnight guest suites, comfortable living rooms, laundry facilities, a play room and a large, fully-stocked kitchen and pantry. The services are open to anyone with a child in the hospital and are not duplicated in the Michiana area.

 
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Our Stories


OUR STORIES

Since 2002, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Michiana has provided a loving home-away-from-home for families at no cost to them while undergoing their difficult experience.

Our Stories


OUR STORIES

Since 2002, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Michiana has provided a loving home-away-from-home for families at no cost to them while undergoing their difficult experience.

The Knapp Story

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     It’s 3:00 a.m. My wife taps me on the shoulder. She tells me that we need to go to the hospital. We were 10 weeks from our baby’s due date. I kind of dismissed it as a false alarm. But as it turned out, Oliver was ready to enter this world. Ready or not.

     I had no preconceived ideas of how the birthing process should go, but in the back of mind I knew our baby was premature – and that complications were a real possibility. Deep down there was this little fear that I might leave the hospital without my son or my wife. Just me walking away alone. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

     Several hours after the delivery, I began realizing we were going to be here awhile. The adrenaline was wearing off and I was getting tired. I remembered hearing about the Ronald McDonald Family Room® – a place where new fathers could go especially since newborns and their mothers are being taken care of by the hospital. As time wore on, the Family Room started to sound really good.

     I was splitting time between Ashley, my wife and Oliver, so my time was valuable. I didn’t want to leave the hospital, but I still needed to eat and rest from time to time. I just needed to regroup, so I could be the best I could be for my wife and son.

     The food and everything the volunteers did for us was phenomenal, but the best thing of all was the sense of community – sharing time with other families who were going through a tough time. It was reassuring to know that you weren’t the only one struggling. There were times when we spoke and many times when we didn’t.

     But there was always a sense of understanding even if it was just a knowing look. For me, it was very important to know I wasn’t alone. That feeling always stood out in my mind as something that makes the Family Room unique and really special.

– Caleb, Ashley and Oliver

 

The Pokuta Story

     The phone rings and the person tells you that your daughter was in a severe car accident. The only news conveyed was that it was bad … really bad.

     In our case, she was cut out of the wreckage and helicopter evacuated to the hospital. My wife was in town, but I was three and a half hours away on business. And when I finally arrived in South Bend, I found my daughter, Lauren, in a coma and my wife, Tonja, helpless and afraid. Before we knew it the hospital chaplin walked in. We said last rights for Lauren because the prognosis wasn’t good. 

     Hours dragged on not knowing the severity of her injuries. Then around 6 a.m., we said goodbye to Lauren and went out into the waiting room to rest. We had no blankets, or pillows, just our fears running wild.

     About an hour later after meeting with doctors, we stepped into the hallway and standing there was a woman holding a clipboard. I assumed it was someone wanting insurance information. But it wasn’t. “Mr. and Mrs. Pokuta,” she says, “I am so sorry about your tragedy. How would you like a place to rest? You see, I am with the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and we have a room you can use.” I thought I was dreaming or delirious. Is this an angel? Then with a kind and gentle smile she said, “Come with me, it’s just up one floor so you can stay close to your daughter.”

     Nobody can imagine the gratitude we felt. We ended up staying there, close to Lauren for nearly a month. And every day was an unbelievable blessing.

– Michael, Lauren and Tonja