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Moms First: Ronald McDonald House update

WSBT 22

WSBT 22 was at the grand opening of the new Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana back in February.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana went from a three bedroom 1,500 square-foot facility to a 20 bedroom 15,000 square-foot brand-new facility.

"I cried when I walked in because it relieves the stress. You're no longer in the hospital hearing all the beeps and the noises and seeing the nurses it just felt like a second home peaceful and calm,” said Tamara Emery.

Tamara and Robert Emery say dealing with a son being hospitalized is stressful enough-- but each day when they walk into the newly built Ronald McDonald House it's like a much needed break.

"The generosity of having a place like this I guess it was overwhelming and grateful to know that you can come here and get away from that there's always somebody if you need a hug,” Tamara said.

Lauren Smyth, Director of Development and Communications for the Ronald McDonald house, says every family stays here completely free.

“Any family who has a child that's receiving services at Beacon Children's Hospital has access to the space. If they are coming just for Dave services they can come over and register with us as long as their child is admitted in the hospital, they have freedom to come and go as they please,” she said.

Some families stay just a few days; others upwards of 11 months.

"The goal to make them feel like this is their home away from home, whether it's a day or an afternoon, for months at a time, if we can kind of give them that sense of freedom and peace and a place where they can come in and relax,” said Smith.

The house has 170 volunteers and someone is there day and night but more volunteers are needed.

"It's changed our life and this could've been worse but you have a calming place to come when you need it he comes and gets coffee all throughout the day seems like a little thing but it means a lot,” said Tamara.

it cost $2.9-million to renovate and build the facility. All that money raised with my local donors.

For information on how to donate and volunteer visit: www.rmhcmichiana.org

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