coronavirus pandemic

How the Ronald McDonald House is Caring for Families Amid the Pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

The pandemic has taken a toll on local charities and organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a place for families to stay while their sick children are in the hospital.

NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to the executive director for the Ronald McDonald House of South Florida, Soraya Rivera-Moya.

The following interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

SHELI: The pandemic has had an impact on charities. What has been the case at the house?

RIVERA: Here at the Ronald McDonald House, we have never closed our doors. We are still here, with a limited number of families, and we are doing the best we can to be able to assist them. As you know we've had to cancel events, we’ve had to cancel volunteers coming to our facility to do so many things that we always use them for. 

SHELI: Financially, this has been such a hit. How can someone help?

RIVERA: So, right now, there are a lot of things that we have going on that people can help with virtually. One of the things is to go to McDonald’s. When you go, you can put your coins or spare change in the donation boxes in the drive thru, or you can round your purchase up to the next dollar. Everything makes such a big difference for us at this moment.

SHELI: How are families being cared for and protected through this pandemic?

RIVERA: We work very closely with our partner hospital, Holtz Children's Hospital, and we have a committee to make sure we are doing what is needed within CDC guidelines. We have the proper protection system, which include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer stations throughout, and we meet with our families on a weekly basis to see how they feel. They’re going through a difficult situation, but here at the house were doing the best we can to make sure they are safe, eating properly and healthy as much as possible.

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