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COVID-19 Updates

Your support matters more than ever

Children of all ages continue to face serious health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. As families seek the best possible care for their children, they’re relying on us for essential support. We take care of the basics so that every family can focus on what matters most — the health and well-being of their child.

Family of four poses for a picture while wearing face masks

Anna LaBella, 10, from Ilion, NY, completed treatment for Ewing sarcoma — a rare form of bone cancer — during the COVID-19 pandemic. We helped Anna’s family stay by her side from her initial diagnosis to her last day of chemotherapy. On June 16, we celebrated with the LaBellas as Anna walked out of the hospital cancer free!

Fulfilling our mission during COVID-19

We have made significant changes to our program operations in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to support every family in need. Since mid-March, we’ve been covering the costs of hotels and meals to minimize exposure risks for families with sick children:

Data as of August 20, 2020

Illustration of family with red heart in center

85 families served

Bed with red heart over headboard

1,320 overnight stays provided

Star with red heart in center

15-night average length of stay

Today, we are in the midst of a four-phase plan to fully re-open the Ronald McDonald House. Through phases 1 and 2, we have welcomed 24 new guest families and continued to provide hotel accommodations as needed based on individual circumstances. In phase 3, we look forward to safely admitting even more families to the warm and comforting environment of the Ronald McDonald House.

  • Phase 1 — June 29 (first round of limited family intake)
  • Phase 2 — July 13 (second round of limited family intake)
  • Phase 3 — August 26 (third round of limited family intake)
  • Phase 4 — TBD (resume normal family intake)

We will continue to provide hotels throughout Phase 3 to meet individual family needs.

Mother and baby in hospital during COVID-19 pandemic

Our Ronald McDonald Family Room, which typically serves more than 25 families per day, has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. During this time, the Family Room has been re-purposed to provide respite and comfort to hospital personnel at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med.

With help from Child Life Specialists within the children’s hospital, our RMHC Hospitality Cart remains in service in spite of the pandemic. The cart brings the warmth of RMHC directly to patients and families in the pediatric units at Albany Med. Since mid-March, it has delivered refreshments and resources to more than 400 children, parents and medical professionals.

Three female hospital workers pose with the RMHC Hospitality Cart at Albany Med during COVID-19

You Can Help

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, we remain committed to serving families with love and compassion in their time of need.

That said, we anticipate a continued rise in our operating costs as we deal with COVID-19. Without intervention, RMHC of the Capital Region may face a shortfall of more than $400,000 by the end of 2020. Your generosity means more than ever during this unprecedented time.

A growing demand for our services

Mother and daughter stand outside of TownePlace Suites by Marriott holding thank you sign

As New York State moves beyond the peak of the pandemic, more children are being treated at nearby hospitals. This increase in patients creates an even greater need for the services we provide. Since April 1, families have come to us from 22 counties in New York and Vermont, seeking comfort and support while their children receive care in Albany. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, we have continued to fulfill our mission by serving every one of these families.

Projected financial impact

We are confronting the significant financial impact of COVID-19 with a focus on mission first.

Expenses are rising as we implement heightened safety measures and continue to provide hotel accommodations and professionally-prepared meals for families in need. Likewise, event cancellations have reduced incoming revenue, and will likely continue to do so for some time.

Graph showing projected financial impact of COVID-19 on RMHC-CR