Imagine having your little one in the hospital this Mother’s Day. That’s the reality for the moms who will be staying at the Ronald McDonald House this year, or dropping in to the Ronald McDonald Family Room so they can be near their sick or injured children. Keep reading to learn more about these two wonderful programs and how you can send a message of love and support this Mother’s Day.
Meet Elizabeth Giles + her mom Melanie
(l) Scott, Elizabeth + Melanie Giles, (r) Melanie + Elizabeth Giles (RMHCA)
After arriving in the world seven weeks early, Elizabeth Giles spent four weeks in UAB’s NICU. This provided her with valuable time and support to gain weight and continue her development.
Thankfully, mom Melanie and dad Scott were able to spend time at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB Women & Infants’ Center. They lived too close to the hospital to stay in a room at the Ronald McDonald House, so the Family Room became their home away from home.
There Elizabeth’s parents and grandmother were able to stay on top of Elizabeth’s medical plan, visit with her, eat and work remotely.
“My mom was with me the whole time. She’s a travel agent, and I’m a teacher. The space allowed us to keep working and get our mind off of things. Another huge blessing was that we didn’t have to think about lunch or even breakfast most days because they were always providing food. Lunch was provided every day by either March of Dimes or UAB Catering.
I would want other families to know that the Family Room isn’t intimidating. They’re not there to harass you into giving money or provide you with comfort you didn’t ask for. They’re just there in whatever capacity you want them to be. I saw families that would sit in there and never talk to the volunteers or get any food. Some would come in, get a granola bar and leave. It might seem intimidating to walk in, but they’re there to provide whatever resources you need in that moment.”Melanie Giles
Send a message of love and support to an RMHCA guest mom this Mother’s Day.
What the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers caregivers
Celebrating the Ronald McDonald Family Room’s 5th Birthday. (RMHCA)
In addition to providing families like the Gileses a home away from home, the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers the following:
- Washer + dryer
- 3 sleep rooms
- 3 full bathrooms
- Snacks + meals
- Crafts + activities
- A social support network
Melanie Giles explained the importance of the social support for families with a little one in the hospital:
“It’s difficult to just walk into someone’s room. You want to keep distance from an immunocompromised baby. The Family Room allows that space of community with like-minded people who are experiencing the same trauma. We can connect in a calming and safe space, because it is extremely traumatic to birth a child and go back to your home where that child isn’t.”
New moms will be spending this Mother’s Day away from home—here’s how you can support them
(l) Carnations + messages of support; (r) Moms crafting (RMHCA)
A number of new moms will spend this Mother’s Day far from family and friends, whether they’re guests at the Ronald McDonald House or are dropping in at the Ronald McDonald Family Room to be near their sick or injured child.
You can help encourage and celebrate them in a few key ways:
Make a difference in a mom’s life this Mother’s Day + beyond. Send your message of encouragement + hope today.