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Hotels partner with RMHC-Madison to care for families

February 28th, 2022

What does a hotel stay mean for most people?  Typically, it is a vacation retreat, weekend destination, or resting spot for business travelers.  Yet at RMHC-Madison, it becomes a critical support system to help ensure we do not have to turn away a family in need.

Prior to 2019 and the Ronald McDonald House expansion and renovation, our partnerships with the Best Western Plus InnTowner and North Central Group area hotels, provided discounted hotel rates as our 18-bedroom facility was outgrowing its space.  Many nights, the House had waiting lists for families scheduling medical procedures or undergoing emergency care with their child living hours away.

As Madison’s world-renowned healthcare facilities expanded pediatric specialties and critical care, the need for the House grew. Easing families’ financial worries about where to rest their heads or find a nourishing meal as they tend to their ailing child is at the heart of our mission. These hotel partnerships provided an important extension of our basic services, but it wasn’t sustainable.

The House expansion and renovation was complete in late 2019, adding 13 rooms, a second kitchen, and increased amenities to make this house a home. The timing and visionary planning were serendipitous as the pandemic dramatically changed the course of our lives only a few months later. Yet keeping families, staff, and volunteers healthy and safely distanced was top of mind in order to keep our doors open.  With our hotel partners in lockstep, we continued to remain open through the pandemic continuing to ensure we didn’t need to turn any family away.

In 2020, many guest families were moved to our hospital partner hotels as part of our safety mitigation strategies to reduce the risks of spread and exposure. Even as pandemic numbers decline, we continue to rely heavily on these hotel relationships to support our overall safety planning understanding guests travel from across the globe for their medical treatment.

Since the pandemic began, RMHC-Madison has hosted more than 4,200 nightly stays at partner hotels. Thank you to our partner hotels who provided discounted rates and the many corporations and donors who also stepped forward with emergency relief.  We watch hopefully as the variants subside and are grateful for lessons learned and heartfelt relationships secured since we opened in 1993. Together, RMHC-Madison, partner hotels, and community support have provided a respite for families during their times of need, bolstering our mission and becoming a heartfelt extension of the House.  We are forever grateful.