RMHC-CR Re-Introduces Comfort Cart Program in Partnership with Broadview Federal Credit Union

The Broadview community team prepares to push the RMHC Comfort Cart, decorated with lights and balloons, through the children's hospital at Albany Med.
Members of the Broadview Federal Credit Union community team prepare to push the RMHC Comfort Cart, decorated with lights and balloons, through the children's hospital at Albany Med.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region (RMHC-CR) has re-introduced its Hospitality Cart program, initially established in January 2020, as the RMHC Comfort Cart, in partnership with Broadview Federal Credit Union. The Comfort Cart extends the compassion and support of the Ronald McDonald Family Room directly to patients and families throughout the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. It currently operates twice a week, traveling through the general pediatric, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and visiting the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders every Monday and Wednesday morning.

“At Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, everything we do is about keeping families close,” said Dr. David Jacobsen, CEO of RMHC-CR. “We recognize that for a parent whose child is in the hospital, even walking down the hall to get a cup of coffee may be too far away. The RMHC Comfort Cart brings that coffee – along with all sorts of other snacks, drinks, toys, games, toiletries and comfort items – directly to families at their child’s bedside. Our compassionate volunteers serve all of these items with a smile, and everything is given completely free of charge. We are incredibly grateful to Broadview Federal Credit Union for their partnership as we continue to build our Comfort Cart program and further extend its reach.”

Originally launched as the RMHC Hospitality Cart in January 2020, the program quickly proved essential in getting complimentary coffee, snacks and supplies to families unable to leave their child’s hospital room in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the Child Life team at Albany Med, the cart remained in service and provided refreshments and support from RMHC-CR to more than 1,000 children, families and medical professionals. The cart resumed its normal operations in April 2021, and eventually expanded service to include the Melodies Center. Today, the Comfort Cart serves more than 200 children and family members per month, and brings added joy with special theme days throughout the year.

“Having a child who is sick and hospitalized can be very stressful. Thanks to the Ronald McDonald House Charities Comfort Cart, which provides sweet treats and entertainment options, we are able to alleviate some of that stress for parents and their kids for a little while,” said Broadview Federal Credit Union CEO Michael Castellana. “Broadview is proud to support the Comfort Cart program. It is heartwarming to know we play a small part in helping families find some normalcy and relief during a particularly stressful time.”

As part of their partnership with Broadview, RMHC-CR is actively recruiting volunteers to support the RMHC Comfort Cart, which may allow for additional hours and/or days of operation within the children’s hospital. To learn more and get involved with the Comfort Cart – or any other RMHC-CR program – please contact Tricia Dzurica, Volunteer Coordinator, at 518-438-2655, email tdzurica@rmhcofalbany.org or visit rmhcofalbany.org/volunteer.

Broadview's Community Impact Director, Katie Farrow, maneuvers the Comfort Cart through the halls of the Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Med.