CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 350 families have been served at the new Charleston Ronald McDonald House since it opened one year ago.
“That’s going to equate to anywhere between 1,200 and 1,500 individuals,” said Dewayne Dickens, executive director of Ronald McDonald House of Southern West Virginia.
The location of the new house is right beside CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital and sits near the I-64/I-77 interchange.
“Anyone driving through the interstate can look over and see our house. It’s very bright and vibrant. We’ve been able to add so many more volunteers just because we’re so much more visible now than at the old house,” Dickens said.
The Charleston house replaced the former house in Kanawha City.
Families, Dickens said, love the convenience of being able to walk to and from the hospital. They also like the larger space.
“It’s a larger house with more guest rooms, so that we’re able to capture those families that we may have missed at the old house just because of being out of space,” he said.
At the house, Dickens said they provide a number of services to families.
“We have meals for them, they can wash their clothes, if they just want to get a shower and rest we can provide all those programs for them,” he said.
Dickens said they also provide educational opportunities.
“We’ve been able to bring in, through our partnership with CAMC, some educational time for our families, especially those new parents, that we can provide here at this new facility,” he said.
The house met its $3.5 million goal in 2016 with about $1.5 million in additional donations over the past year.
“To be able to build this new $3.5 million facility through their donation, but also for it not to stop, for it to continue — it just continues to amaze me with the generosity of all those in this region,” Dickens said.
Major contributors to the project included BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company, Charleston Area Medical Center, TransCanada and McDonald’s.