Ronald McDonald Homes

The Auckland Ronald McDonald Home is 20 years old this week. That was the first Home but there are now others, all very close to a hospital. All Ronald McDonald Homes are for families from out-of -town who have a sick child. The family can stay for free while their child is in the hospital. Some families stay only a few days while others stay for months, depending on how long their child is in the hospital.

It is a great help to parents to be near their sick child; it is helpful for the sick child to have parents near them all the time; it is helpful for other children in the family to be with their parents and to go to school at the Ronald McDonald Home. At the Home, families mix with other families and share experiences. This provides support for worried parents; the staff at the Home all provide support too. Families have their own room with a bathroom and volunteers cook meals once or twice a week. The Home has a gym for adults, a playroom for children, a family lounge so that people can meet each other, a big kitchen and laundry.

Christchurch Ronald McDonald Home opened in 2003 and the Southland Home opened at the end of last year. They provide accommodation for South Island families.

McDonald’s restaurant is the main sponsor but many other companies sponsor the Homes. There are fund-raising events and many volunteers give their time to help at the Homes.

Vocabulary

• out-of-town – from another town or a rural area, not from Auckland
• sponsor – gives money
• fund-raising events – an event like a concert or a fun run which makes money for the Homes






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