For the past 4 years, I have been volunteering at the BC Women's Hospital's Newborn ICU (BCWH NICU). Officially, my job at the NICU is to cuddle babies when their parents/caregivers are unavailable. Often, this also means that I get to meet family members and their friends, many of whom come from all over BC. Some of these families even come from outside Canada.
Several families I have worked with during these 4 years have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), located a stone's throw away from the NICU.
The awesome slide at Ronald McDonald House...
Tonight, I got a chance to tour the award winning house and to cook dinner for the 70+ families who make Ronald McDonald House their home while their child seeks treatment at BC Children's Hospital.
The thing that struck home the most about the service that RMH provides is the community support while a child is sick. The community support not only comes from the staff at RMH, but also from the people of Vancouver who help in many ways. For example, 4 nights a week, people in the community (individuals or groups) come out and cook dinner for the families at RMH.
This struck home because that is the main reason why I volunteer at the NICU--to give parents a chance to step outside the NICU and take of themselves and the rest of their family and trust that someone from the community is there to help support their child who is living in the NICU.
For more info on RMH and how you can help, visit http://rmhbc.ca