By Alexis Simmons | October 27, 2020 at 4:02 PM EDT - Updated October 27 at 5:22 PM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston provides free housing and meals for families who have children receiving care at local hospitals. Staff say they have had to cancel or postpone fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Marketing Director Rachel Morrison says 95 percent of their budget is from local fundraising events and donations.
“This pandemic has changed many things,” Morrison said. “One thing has remained the same, that is our mission of providing a clean, comfortable, safe and healthy home away from home for these families that still must travel even through the pandemic for their child’s medical treatment.”
Their operations are also different now in effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston usually can serve up to 32 families at a time.
That number has dropped to 20 to allow each family to have their own bathroom. A negative COVID-19 test is also required, and siblings can no longer stay at the house because of COVID-19.
“We truly rely on the Charleston community to make sure that our house is run and open to our families every single night,” Morrison said.
Morrison estimates that they are about $200,000 short in this year’s budget. She says say their food operations have been impacted greatly and it’s been a big hit their budget.
“Prior to COVID, our Meals that Heal program is where volunteers come in and they bring all of the food supply, the groceries, everything they need to cook a meal,” Morrison said. “They would bring it into the house and cook here.”
Now volunteers are not allowed inside the house as a safety precaution. The house is now paying for all meals, which must be provided by a restaurant, a commercial kitchen or establishment as a safety precaution.
“We’re thankful for the donations that come in, and we are trying to support local restaurants and making sure that our families stay fed,” Morrison said.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston is seeking donations and volunteers who can support them in having meals delivered.
If you would like to sign up to fund meals, volunteer with food delivery or have questions, you can emailVolunteer@RMHCharleston.orgor call the main office at (843) 723-7957.
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