The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas is experiencing an increase in occupancy and a decrease in volunteers for the first time.
Until recently, the non-profit public charity had a waiting list of group and individual volunteers wanting to donate their time. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the number of volunteers has dropped significantly.
The House provides lodging, food support, and recreation for families trying to stay together while a child of theirs receives extensive medical care. A shuttle transports patients and their families back and forth to nearby hospitals.
While families can donate for their own stay at the House, no family has been turned away due to an inability to pay.
Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Jill Cumnock told NBC 5 that occupancy had risen 75% since the pandemic started, and the organization is currently servicing more than 60 families.
Cumnock claimed that the House’s tight restrictions on masking and COVID-19 vaccine requirements have kept people from volunteering, even as the measures are in place to protect potentially vulnerable patients and their families.
Volunteers are essential to the work done at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. From cooking meals and arranging activities to helping with the front desk, volunteers help things run smoothly and make families feel comfortable while they are staying at the House, ostensibly during very difficult points in their lives.
For groups of up to 12 who want to volunteer, cooking meals and hosting family-friendly activities are always fun ways to get involved. Most activities take place during the evenings and on the weekends.
Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older and must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.
Since its beginnings in 1981, the Ronald McDonald House Dallas has served 40,000 families. To volunteer, visit ronaldmcdonaldhouse.org.