The Bend Ronald McDonald House off Neff Road received several renovations and a new addition to help families in need.
Chief Development Director for the house, Lauren Olander, says the charity acts a “home away from home” for families who travel to receive medical care for their children.
“We provide lodging, meals, compassion and hospitality, support, laundry: anything a family needs. We want to be able to take care of that family. So the only thing they have to think about is taking care of their child,” Olander said.
Updates include new flooring, new paint, bathroom renovations, a brand new kitchen and an additional suite that is ADA accessible for those with disabilities.
“If we have any families that need any special accommodation—a little extra space, or have a child in a wheelchair, or a parent in a wheelchair—we have all the accommodations here,” Olander said.
Olander told us the original main structure and bones of the house were the only things left untouched because they represent the community that helped build the home.
“We had a mom that stayed with us. She would talk about how her 10 to 15 hour days at the hospital and all she heard all day were machines to help her child breathe, waiting to hear her child take their next breath,” Olander explained.
“She said she held her breath all day long when she was at the hospital, but at night, when she came back to the house and the front door closed behind her, she said that was the moment she could exhale.”
To stay at the Ronald McDonald House, a child must be 21 years old or younger and they must be receiving medical care at a hospital. Everything provided at the house is free from food to lodging, and families can stay for as long as they need to while their child receives medical care.
The Ronald McDonald House accepts donations from the community.
The front doors are also always open to those who would like to learn more about the charity, and what they can do to help said Olander.