At Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha, we’re used to dealing with changing circumstances. But five months ago, we – and all of you – experienced changes unlike anything we’ve seen in our 26 years of existence. We’re used to caring for immune-compromised children and their families, but the coronavirus pandemic has also caused us to cancel events, in-person programs and volunteer activities, and most significantly, prevented us from accepting new families for roughly 90 days.

We are currently in Phase Four of a four-phase reinstatement process, created with input from health experts, and approved by our board of directors and Ronald McDonald House Charities Global. In this phase, we can host up to 40 families every night, just as was intended following last year’s opening of the Hope and Healing Expansion.

Coming into 2020, we expected to welcome 2,000 individuals into our House this year. Due to COVID-19, we’re now expecting roughly half that number. However, our budget remains largely unchanged, outside of event-related expenses, so we’ve had to get creative in our efforts to ensure our families who are in the House continue to receive the level of care and comfort they need.

In our House, we pride ourselves on making life as normal as possible for our families. To do so, it has taken measures even more extraordinary than we’re used to, and we are beyond grateful to have supporters like you who have continued to stand by our side, and our families’ sides, throughout all of this. While the last five months have, at times, felt almost like decades, we’ve adjusted to this new normal in order to continue providing hope and healing for the families who call our House their home away from home.

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