Imagine having to leave home immediately to move to a place you don’t know for your child to receive urgent medical care. You have no place to stay and no support network around you for an indeterminate period.
That’s where Ronald McDonald House and the Greater Charitable Foundation can help, through their Stronger Together partnership.
In 2022, Greater Charitable Foundation’s funding of $299,000 generating savings of $555,235 for families with a seriously ill or injured child being supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern New South Wales.
Julia and Jacob from Boambee East on the Mid North Coast spent 81 nights at Ronald McDonald House at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle after their one-year old daughter Harper was diagnosed with a rare form or cancer.
“We took Harper to the local hospital after a little fall at home as we thought she may have been concussed,” Julia said.
“We ended up getting flown to John Hunter Hospital where we found out she had a large tumour. A few weeks later we learned that the tumour was actually cancerous, which meant Harper had to start on a chemotherapy journey, which was a big change for our family with huge impacts.
“There was a long stint where we hadn’t seen the older two kids for about six weeks. The first moment we actually got to see them at Ronald McDonald House was really magical and quite emotional for all of us.
“We hadn’t seen Harper that happy the whole time we’d been there. She spent the whole time being scared of people and scared of doctors, but she just had a joy about her and ran up to her brother. It was a beautiful moment.
“Having Ronald McDonald House means we can have a home away from home where we can come together and reunite all the kids and have a bit of normal in amongst all the chaos.
“Wherever we are, we just want to be together as a family and Ronald McDonald House lets us do that.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern New South Wales Chief Executive Officer, Ross Bingham, said Greater Charitable Foundation funding makes an enormous difference to the charity’s impact.
“As a community owned and operated charity, we rely on the generosity of the community and the significant support we’ve received from Greater Charitable Foundation has helped thousands of families in a time of great need.
“Based on independent research by Social Ventures Australia, for every $1 invested by the Greater Charitable Foundation we’ve been able to deliver $3.60 social and economic value back into our communities,” Mr Bingham said.
“That can be through our accommodation services at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Newcastle or Tamworth, the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle or at Gosford Hospital, or they can also enjoy some well-deserved vacation time at our Family Retreat in Forster.
“We are privileged to enjoy a well-established partnership with the Greater Charitable Foundation and look forward to the relationship continuing long into the future.”
Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said the Stronger Together partnership helps families to fulfil their goal of living real and dreaming big.
“Working with Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW means we can directly and positively impact the lives of families with a seriously ill or injured child,” Ms Long said.
“Caring for a sick or injured loved one can be incredibly stressful, particularly when it’s a child needing care and the inevitable financial burden families face makes things even harder.
“By alleviating their financial burden, we can help these families to focus on the health and wellbeing of their sick or injured child and, importantly, each other.”