Children's Hospital Family Room Needs Volunteers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2010) − Kentucky Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass are looking for compassionate and responsible volunteers to assist at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Kentucky Children's Hospital. The room provides a “place to go when you can’t go home” for patient families and friends who need a break from the stress of their child’s medical care but are unable to leave the hospital.

Located on the fourth floor of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, the Ronald McDonald Family Room helps keep families close to their child’s bedside while providing a home-like area to relax. Much like the Ronald McDonald House, the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a comfortable and welcoming environment dedicated to helping families lessen stress while coping with a child’s illness. Amenities of the family room include a welcoming volunteer staff, McDonald’s coffee, snacks, personal use electronic gaming and DVD systems, toys, puzzles, magazines and books.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room requires the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers. The room is open 12 hours each week day and 8 hours on both Saturday and Sunday and is staffed entirely by volunteers working four-hour shifts. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, dependable, good listeners, and able to bend, stoop, and walk. Parking in the hospital parking garage will be free to volunteers. Completion of a free two-hour training and health screening at Kentucky Children’s Hospital is mandatory prior to volunteering for the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Kentucky Children's Hospital opened in 1997, but has taken care of children since 1962. The hospital cares for patients from all 120 counties in Kentucky. A partnership was initiated many years ago with Ronald McDonald House so parents of children at Kentucky Children's Hospital would have a place to stay close to children who are patients at the hospital. “This is an important family room that is needed because families whose child is critically ill do not want to leave the hospital," said Sherry Holmes, director of children’s services, Kentucky Children's Hospital. "These families stay at the bedside but need a place to have a time to refresh themselves and to talk to friends and family away from their child. It is a lovely place for families of our sickest patients to receive special attention in a homelike environment.” "Twenty-seven years ago the Lexington Ronald McDonald House became a reality because of the unwavering generosity and kindness of people in this community," said Sarah Warner, executive director. "Since we have extended our mission to reach those families who need a place to relax within the hospital walls, I am optimistic that our community will once again rise to meet this challenge to help families in need.”   For more information or if you would like to become a volunteer please call Kelly Hamilton at (859) 268-8437or email her at Volunteer applications are available at