Family Room Collage

Celebrating Our Second Year Operating the Family Room

August 16th, 2023

“Ronald McDonald House Charities® Eastern Wisconsin is so excited to be celebrating the two-year anniversary of our Family Room. Our commitment to keeping families together and promoting the health and well-being of children is amplified by our incredible partnership with Rogers Behavior Health. We have witnessed the positive impact our services provide to families firsthand and look forward to serving many more families through this partnership for years to come.”

-Laurie Bertrand, President/CEO RMHC® Eastern WI

For over a decade, families seeking evidence-based care at Rogers have called our Ronald McDonald House® in Milwaukee “home.” In 2022, Rogers’ families stayed a total of 292 nights at our House, saving them over $378,000 in lodging expenses!

When it opened in August 2021, our Ronald McDonald Family Room® became the second in the world to exclusively partner with a mental and behavioral health hospital. As we celebrate our two-year anniversary, it fills me with pride and joy thinking of the hundreds of families we have welcomed into the Family Room throughout every stage of their medical journeys at Rogers.

I think about the families who are brand-new, that are often stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. Many have traveled great distances and have dropped everything to make sure their loved ones receive the best care possible. I often see these families visibly relax when I show them the Family Room’s amenities: a fridge full of home-cooked meals, snacks and beverages, space to rest and play and many of the comforts of home; right here on campus.

“I was able to relax, run and recharge without the burden of “where to go” or having to sit in a public cafe. When feeling stressed it was a GODSEND to know I could come here and just be comfortable and comforted. Thank you!”

I think about our unique and amazing community of support. Parents listening without judgment, as they share stories of what brought their families to Rogers and a keen understanding of how challenging it can be to maintain the responsibilities of life back home. Little moments between e-mails, phone calls and virtual meetings; and deep conversations during particularly tough days. Families who are here for the very first time finding comfort and hope as they are reassured by families who have been here longer “It gets better…just hang in there…” What a gift this place has been!

“Today I just felt loved. I felt seen for the struggle these years have been. I felt supported by all the little touches, the volunteers and staff playing/talking with my kids, and the non-judgment.”

I think of all the visitor hours spent laughing, playing, cooking and creating together. Removing the stress of where to go or what to do – the Family Room provides a welcoming environment where families can simply enjoy their time together.

“My daughter wasn’t ready to leave campus when it came time for our visit, there would have been too many anxiety triggers. The Family Room gave us a relaxing place to visit with plenty of fun activities. We baked and decorated cupcakes, painted rocks and played board games. I’m so grateful we had this space available. These are special memories I’m going to have during her time at Rogers. These are small things that made a big difference for us.”

Thank you to Rogers Behavioral Health and the Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation for your partnership – we are proud to serve families alongside you. Thank you to our sponsors, donors and friends for your belief in our mission – we could not do what we do without your generous support. Finally, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our incredible staff and volunteers – the Family Room would not be the same without you. Thank you for the countless ways you show up for families and for continuing to lead with compassionate care.

Kelly Levenhagen

Ronald McDonald Family Room Manager

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