March 2022: Mission Forward

The following message comes from the desk of Dr. David Jacobsen, CEO, RMHC of the Capital Region

Volunteers wearing masks and gloves stand around a kitchen island preparing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House

More than 22,000 families have visited the Ronald McDonald House in Albany over the past 40 years. Since March 2020, the impact of the pandemic has required us to care for families very differently. At times, families have needed accommodations in local hotels. Meals have often been purchased at local restaurants. Volunteers, the heart of all of our programs, have had to wait on continually changing conditions to be able to serve. We have adjusted our protocols to include wellness checks, social distancing, and wearing masks to help protect others. Despite these changes, RMHC of the Capital Region has successfully cared for every family in need of our support since the pandemic began, keeping them close to their children and the excellent treatment of the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med. For this reason, I want to thank every member of our team, including Board members, staff, volunteers, community partners, and our guest families.

I am encouraged by the latest recommendations of our medical community as the pandemic appears to be subsiding, vaccines are more readily available, and treatment options are keeping hospitalization rates lower than anytime in the past two years.

Effective immediately, RMHC of the Capital Region is welcoming back volunteers to support all of our programs. Both regular and intermittent volunteers may return to the Ronald McDonald House, Family Room (including the Hospitality Cart), and Family Retreat, and new volunteers are welcome!  This includes opportunities for volunteer meal groups of up to 4 people to support our Love Is Served program, preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for families at the House – and now providing daily lunches for the Family Room as well. Opportunities to register and schedule volunteer opportunities are available at

Of course, we must remain diligent in keeping our program spaces safe for all guest families.  Therefore, we will continue to operate with a few commonsense guidelines.  All guests, visitors, volunteers, and staff must abide by the following:

  • Wellness Checks (Must be able to answer “no” to the following questions)
    • In the past 48 hours, have you experienced any of the symptoms below?
      Fever/Chills; Cough; Sore Throat; Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing; New Loss of Taste/Smell; Nausea; Vomiting; Diarrhea; Muscle/Body Aches; Fatigue; Headache; Congestion/Runny Nose
      *NOTE: Answer “Yes” even if you believe the symptoms to be related to another medical condition (i.e. allergies)
    • In the past 10 days, have you tested positive for COVID-19?
    • In the past 10 days, have you been in close physical contact with anyone has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
      If yes, and you have had a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 5 days after your most recent exposure, you may access RMHC-CR programs.
  • Use of Masks in All Indoor Areas
    • Masks may be removed while seated in the Ronald McDonald House dining room
  • Maintain social distancing from all non-family members (minimum of 3 feet)
  • Frequently wash and disinfect hands, wearing gloves as needed.

Our highest priority continues to be fulfilling our mission in a way that protects the health and well-being of the families we serve, our dedicated volunteers and staff, and the greater Capital Region community in which we operate.  All common program areas are open for our guest families and will be maintained through routine cleaning and disinfecting protocols.  Once again, thank you for keeping the mission moving forward in support of children and families.