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Non-Profit Spotlight: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Ronald McDonald House Southern Arizona Tucson photo opp

Imagine for a moment that you have a sick child who requires surgery, chemotherapy, blood tests, or organ transplants…in a city far away from the one you call home.

You travel to a new place - anxious, exhausted, and with a pile of medical bills. The last thing you want to do is check into an unfamiliar (and expensive) hotel, surrounded by strangers.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona steps in at times like these and provides a “home away from home” for families who travel to Tucson for medical care. The 24,000 square foot house at Prince & Campbell has 27 bedrooms with private bathrooms. The home also has welcoming community areas - a kitchen, a reading room, a playroom, a laundry room, an outdoor play area, and a healing garden. Families with hospitalized children can stay at the house as long as needed at no cost. 

RMHC also operates a Ronald McDonald Family Room at Banner Children's at Diamond Children's Medical Center. Located just steps away from the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, the Family Room provides families of hospitalized children an opportunity to refresh, rest, and reflect, without going too far from their children.

Recently, RMHC launched Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which is a partnership with Chiricahua Community Health Centers to bring dental care to children in under-served areas of Cochise County.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Where is the Ronald McDonald House located?

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona is located in central Tucson - only a few miles from the Diamond Children's Medical Center. The address is: 2155 E. Allen Rd (just east of Campbell and north of Prince).

VOLUNTEERING

What volunteer opportunities are available?

Current volunteer positions at the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson are: House Volunteer, Driver, Family Room Volunteer, and the Chef For A Day program. See below for information about each position.

House Volunteers

House volunteers are front-and-center in providing support for families needing to stay close to the hospital overnight. Duties include keeping the house clean and organized, but also responding to guests when called upon.

Duties may include the following:

  • Answer telephones
  • Greet families and visitors
  • Make up rooms so they are ready for new families
  • Organize the kitchen
  • Organize the playroom
  • Store and organize supplies and donations
  • Assist with special projects
  • Restock linens, kitchen, bathroom, cleaning and other supplies

Drivers

Volunteer drivers transport families to and from local hospitals Monday – Friday, with morning & afternoon shifts at 3-hour increments each.

Family Room Volunteers

The Family Room, located on the 4th floor in Banner Children’s-Diamond Children’s Medical Center, is a chance to support families inside the hospital. This room serves all pediatric inpatient families at BCDCMC. The volunteer’s role is crucial to maintaining the friendly, caring atmosphere of the Family Room, while upholding all Family Room and hospital policies.

Duties may include the following:

  • Answer telephones
  • Register guests
  • Provide orientation and tours to first time guests
  • Keep simple statistical records
  • Instruct families of the Family Room policies
  • Enforce policies when needed
  • Offer resources to families
  • Keep room neat and tidy
  • Help provide a warm, friendly, and supportive atmosphere for families

Chef For A Day

  1. Get a group of 12 people or less together and log on to the RMHC website to schedule a date and meal.
  2. Decide what you would like to make and shop for the ingredients.
  3. Plan a well-rounded meal (main dish and side dishes; beverages and desserts are optional) that will serve 30 people.
  4. Bring all food items on your scheduled date and prepare the meal in the RMHC kitchen. All pots, pans, utensils, and serving dishes are available on-site for your use.

You can learn more about each of these volunteer opportunities here.

What are the training requirements?

Interested in volunteering at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona? The first step is to fill out a Volunteer Application - which includes demographic information, education, work experience, and a background check. You will also need to provide two references.

Volunteer shifts are generally 3 hours, but there is flexibility if you cannot commit to a 3-hour shift. That said, RMHC does ask that you commit to volunteer for at least six months.

What if I can’t volunteer my TIME?

  • Buy an item on the RMHC wish list. Current items on the list include gallon size ziploc bags, cereal, fresh fruit, AA and AAA batteries, tupperware containers, crock pots, paper towels, and more.
  • Donate moneyRonald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona, a 501(c)(3), is financially supported primarily through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Collect pop tabs. Collect aluminum tabs from soda cans and bring them in to RMHC. 1,600 pop tabs makes one pound. 150 pounds funds one family to stay one night.

Can I volunteer with my children?

Because many of the children in the house have a low tolerance to germs and bacteria, volunteers must be ages 12 and up. That said, younger kids can certainly participate in efforts to support the Ronald McDonald House by collecting pop tabs or organizing a wish list drive.

Who should I contact if I want to become a volunteer?

Send an email to Christine LaBoy at claboy@rmhctucson.org. 

CONNECT WITH THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

Is the Ronald McDonald House on social media?

Yes! You can follow Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona on Facebook and Twitter

You can also sign up to receive RMHC's newsletter (via snail mail or email) to receive updates about events, volunteer opportunities, and pressing needs.

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