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Ronald McDonald House Charities receives much-needed donation


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    OMAHA, Nebraska (WOWT) — The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Omaha was presented with a nearly $48,000 donation from owner-operators of the McDonald’s Great Plains Business Unit.

The money was raised during the “Round Up for RMHC” fundraiser held from October to December of 2020. During that time, McDonald’s customers could choose to round up their total bill, with the extra money going to RMHC.

“We are completely blown away,” said CEO of RMHC in Omaha, Lindsey Rai Kortan. “I mean we’re talking at most $0.99 at a time, so for this entire community to come together in such a huge way and do it a little bit at a time, it really represents not only how beautiful everyone is in this community and our ability to come together and be a part of something bigger than ourselves, but it also reinforces our amazing relationship that we have with McDonald’s and how we can all have this perfect triangle of a partnership with the community.”

With money tight during the pandemic, donations dropped for RMHC which relies heavily on donated funds to keep their doors open and to continue serving families who need a comforting place to stay while their child receives medical care at the hospital.

An Owner-Operator in Omaha, Dustin Darmody, says it’s more important than ever to make sure the families RMHC serves are taken care of.

“This house gives the opportunity as a ‘home away from home’ for a lot of these kids and families who need to be near medical care,” said Darmody. “Obviously they have this beautiful, wonderful facility here so we’re just excited to help support the families so have somewhere to stay while they’re going through their tough time.”

The money will directly benefit the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s those families that are still here right now that will continue to have food to eat every night and a place to come home to and a wraparound support system that we’re able to provide because of this money directly,” said Lindsey Rai Kortan.

The pandemic has affected Omaha’s Ronald McDonald House in other ways, too. For one, it’s affected the amount of people they’re allowed to have – in part, because elective procedures were not allowed for a period of time. It’s also effected the number of volunteers, which was cut way down. The House typically has about 2,600 a year who help with education and ancillary services, but far fewer have been allowed to help out since the pandemic began.

Between 10 and 12 families are staying at Omaha’s Ronald McDonald House right now, but they are always ready and willing to take more if the proper safety procedures are followed.

“This is not just a house, this is not just a hotel, it’s a place where you can come and belong and know that you are not alone – it’s so much more than a place to stay. It’s a place for you to experience what hope and family really feels like especially when you’re in a place where there is nothing familiar,” said Lindsey Rai Kortan.

Even though the “Round Up for RMHC” fundraiser has ended, McDonald’s will continue to take donations year-round.

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