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Ronald McDonald House serving more families during pandemic

Posted at 8:15 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 20:16:00-04

LANSING, Mich. — It's not easy when your child is sick and hospitalized under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a pandemic.

But the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan is still trying to provide families a place to stay for free, just feet from the hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan tells FOX 47 they are serving more people than normal during this pandemic.

And both families present and of past say their stays here have been life changing.

“I’m actually looking out the window and can see it right now, it feels like we just left,” said Sindy Stone, a former Ronald McDonald family.

Early Monday morning, Stone sat in her room at Sparrow Hospital with her daughter, Juliette, who is recovering from a seizure, nearly eight years after their stay in the Ronald McDonald House.

“We stayed in the Ronald McDonald House for five months, seeing what was going on with Juliette,” recalled Stone. “She was born a micro preemie, born a 14.8 ounces and nine inches long.”

Stone’s family of stayed their free of charge like a majority of the thousands of families the house has served for 20 years in Lansing.

"You need to be close to the hospital and most hospitals don't have a hotel and if they do, it's a lot," said "This charity makes a huge difference."

To continue to serve families during the pandemic, the Ronald McDonald House is making major changes and modifying common rooms.

"We have made adjustments to make sure that parents comply with quarantining to their child's room so this time we are able to mobilize our programming to the hospital," said Carolyn Hurst, the executive director of the Ronald McDonald House.

Right now, the Ronald McDonald House is serving more than 36 families whose children are sick at Sparrow.

Hurst says none are COVID-19 related.

But with less volunteers and more families, the non-profit is asking the community for help.

"We need help to do meals and help with funding to carry out at this time."

Which is why the Ronald McDonald House is collecting pop can tabs to raise money.

"We work with Friedland Industries Inc to recycle those pop tabs and those funds help us for our operations," said Hurst.

For a full list of donations and how you can help, click here.

Since the mid Michigan Ronald McDonald opened it's doors in 2000, they have collected more than 100-million pop can tabs, raising more than 46,000.

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