Category Archives: House

Happy National Women History Month!

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If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll know the story of two very influential women who had a hand in Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley (RMHCRRV)If you don’t follow us on Facebook, click here! We highlighted both Dr. Evans and Bev McAllister who shared a dream of keeping parents close to their critically ill child and focused on making sure their stresses were alleviated with a “home away from home.” Their dreams came to fruition in 1974 with the first RMHC and in 1982 with the first RMHCRRV.  

After 38 years and thousands of families, RMHCRRV needed to expand to accommodate the growing medical facilities and those families. In May of 2018, we closed the previous houses and opened our doors to the brand-new Ronald McDonald House, so everything is under one roof.  Inside the offices is the RMHC staff – a small staff compared to the large mission they all pursue every day. We’d like to introduce you to our all-woman staff as they are all huge components and work hard every single day to keep families together. Although we can’t be together right now due to coronavirus, we are still so thankful for each other! j

Get to know everyone and their favorite part of the job!

Jill Christopher – Jill has been leading as Executive Director for almost 10 years. Through her career, she has been leading the way on three houses, opened a Ronald McDonald Family Room, and has been championing RMHC along the way. She was drawn to RMHC because of a personal connection; her favorite part of her job is helping ease the burden and making some else’s situation with their sick child less stressful.  

Erica Johnsrud – Development Director, Erica has worked hand in hand with Jill for the fundraising needs of RMHC including raising over 5 million dollars to build the new House. In her role, she builds relationships with donors and sponsors, plans events like the Sweetheart Ball, and is the funny voice behind most of our tweets!  

In my position, I get the opportunity to connect the community with the mission of RMHC’s “home away from home” – aligning passion with purpose. At the same time, I get to see firsthand the gratefulness and the relief that the families have when they have a space they can call “home”. 

Ashley Peterson – To house over 400 families a year, we need to ensure everything is running smoothly. Ashley, Director of Operations, is the mastermind that keeps everything from the elevator to the air conditioning running. She is also our volunteer coordinator, welcoming more than 1000 volunteers a year.  

Working with people who care deeply about our mission and making families feel like they are at home when they stay at the House or are visiting the Family Room. 

Kelly Binfet – Assisting Ashley is our Operations Assistant Kelly who has been with RMHC for 5 years. She ensures the house is spotless for families, directs volunteers, and participates in community outreach by going into the school to teach kids about our pop tab program!  

I love that our strengths are always encouragedWe are supported, listened to, and we laugh a lot together. As a small-sized staff, we do just as many amazing things as a company with many people! Our part-time family services staff and volunteers are SO helpful to our families and making our families feel at home.  Our staff has so many talents; The ability to use people’s gifts and get them in the right positions and encourage them to grow and change and learn has always been important to our team. 

Lane Pereboom – Lane, Director of Family Services, joined the team in June and has been an amazing addition to the team. Her office is the first-place families stop when they are checking in. She oversees our part-time staff and interns and ensures families have the support and resources they need to get through their hospital stays.  

Our families come to us at some of the scariest, most stressful and uncertain times, and we meet them with support, encouragement, and resources. We provide fun spaces and activities to normalize the hospital and medical experience. Our staff all provides “the little things” that make RMHC feel like home.   

Alex Kizima – Our newest staff member started in July and assists Erica as the Development Coordinator. She is the one who writes social medianewsletters, and this blog you are reading right now! Together, Erica and Alex plan the Sweetheart Ball and coordinate on Giving Hearts Day and the Golf Tournament.  

The support we receive from our community is truly humbling. When we ask for wish list items, people deliver. It makes my heart do a happy dance. I love being able to surprise families when we say we have the thing they are asking for. My hope is that all parents have support as they provide the best care for their child in the hospital.  

We made it Last blog post of year

The Last Blog Post of the Decade!

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Here we are; the end of the decade. A lot has changed since the beginning of 2010. Our House has moved to a new location, we have a slightly different staff, and we serve new families constantly. But with all that the last ten years have thrown at us, we are still very much the same. Our Mission of keeping families together during times of crisis is still at the heart of what we do, and the community is still just as generous as they were in at the beginning.  

If you are new to what Ronald McDonald House Charities does or you are looking for a way to end the decade strong, we’ve put together a list of small things you can do before December 31st 

 

Ways To Help 

Donate 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley is run 100% on donations. Donations can be made online at www.rmhcfargo.org, or at their location: 4757 Agassiz Xing S, Fargo ND 58104. We appreciate each and every donor!

Giving Tree 

McDonalds of the Red River valley set up a Giving Tree in all twenty-three locations decorated in handmade ornaments from families staying with us through the year. Each ornament holds a wish list item that can be used in our House. Simply take an ornament, purchase a need, and bring it back to the McDonalds unwrapped so it can be later sent to our House.  

Get A Tour 

We would love to be able to show you a tour of their spaces. Contact Erica Johnsrud for a time to tour: erica@rmhcfargo.org or 701-232-3980 or join us for our monthly Hotdish at the House – where you eat lunch while learning about the importance of our service in the communities we serve.  

Volunteer 

RMHC has many different volunteer opportunities. Give RMHC a call or email volunteer@rmhcfargo.org. If you’re a fantastic cook or baker, let us know! If mopping or office work is more your style, we can connect you with something.  

Save Your Pop Tabs 

It’s a small gesture but collecting pop can tabs can make a big difference – in fact, because of people saving pop tabs, over $3,000 is raised each year for our House. Let us know if you’d like a cardboard House mailed to you. They’re a cute way to display your support in the office or kitchen and to collect pop tabs! 

 

Thank you to everyone who lends their support in keeping families together during difficult times. We wish you happy holidays and a very happy new year! See you in 2020.

November Recap

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Sometimes it’s hard to choose the best part of the holidays, but here at Ronald McDonald House, we agree that it’s the sense of community as families and friends gather through the end of the year.  

We kicked off the month with a lot of classroom visits to teach kids about our pop tab program! These are always fun visits because kids always ask the best questions as they begin to understand what these can do for our families. We informed them that the little tab on a pop can make a BIG difference for our families that stay with us.

We had many groups gather under our roof in November. Our kitchen and halls were filled with laughter from families and friends.  From cooking and cleaning volunteers… 

cleaning volunteers

 

to whole families gathering for the first time… 

schatz twins graduate the nicu

The Schatz twins were strong enough after 106 days to go home! They joined two older brothers, mom and dad as we said our “Good-bye’s”.

After an exciting month, the day most people were waiting for came: THANKSGIVING.

Megan, our part-time staff member, and her family came in to make desserts. Bridget Kessler from Houston Engineering came to make a Thanksgiving feast. Families staying with us were able to enjoy a full meal and table full of desserts. We are thankful for the people who took time out of their day to help our Families feel comfortable as they celebrated a holiday far from home.

baking volunteers on thanksgiving

We are looking forward to seeing what December brings! We are ready to embrace everyone with open arms as we celebrate the last month of the year. See you next month!

What’s cookin’?

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Happy July – or should I say end of July. My, how time flies when you’re having fun!

This month was our 20th annual golf tournament for Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley. With the help of over 100 golfers on 34 teams, we were able to reach $37,000 dollars! That is amazing. THANK YOU to everyone who donated their time, resources, or money. We cannot do this without you – don’t forget that. Along with the golf tournament, we hired a new Development Coordinator, went to a few conferences, and continued to improve our new House. It’s crazy how fast the summer goes, but we are thankful for the warmth… both in the people AND the weather.

I don’t think we can tell people enough about the amazing volunteers we have come through our doors each day. Today, I thought we could focus on our cooking and baking chefs/volunteers because the kitchen is truely the heart of any home. We’ve compiled recipes used in our kitchen from the past year to share with you. Help me introduce our first ever Cookbook: 2019 Edition.

 

 

These recipes are tried and true and ready for you to attempt. When volunteers come, we tell them they should anticipate feeding twelve hungry adults. If you and your friends would like to take over our kitchen for the night, please visit our website under “volunteers” or email Ashley at ashley@rmhcfargo.org

several small bags of popcorn

We’re back!

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Hey folks!

Long time, no see. Like, a really long time. We’re sorry. You helped us build our beautiful new house and we got so caught up in how great it is to offer to our families that we didn’t carve out enough time for this blog throughout the process.  Continue reading

The Beginnings of RMHC of the Red River Valley

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“We have been at the hospital for almost 12 hours and it seems like a lifetime. I just looked in on Sara and she looks so beautiful and peaceful laying in her crib. She has been so brave and good considering all of the poking, prodding and sticking with needles they have done to her. I almost feel guilty because she is braver than I am. Sometimes she just lays in her crib, eyes wide open, laying so still. What could she be thinking about? Is there a remote chance she knows what is ahead and isn’t afraid? How come I am more afraid than I have ever been in my whole life?” -Bev McAllister, December 1978 journal excerpt  Continue reading

An interview with our builder: Nor-Son, Inc.

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Ron, inside the house, giving a tour of the office area

Ron Myrvold, Vice President of Construction – Fargo Operations, giving a tour of the new house.

Nor-Son, Inc. was the construction manager for our new Ronald McDonald House. The new house is located at 4757 Agassiz Crossing Dr. S. in Fargo, ND. The team we worked with at Nor-Son has been incredibly helpful, going above and beyond to ensure a successful and beautiful space for families to find comfort after a long day. Nor-Son has worked diligently so that the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo can continue helping families stay together.  It has been a delight working with the team at Nor-Son throughout the entire building process.

We interviewed Mark Korte of Nor-Son, Inc. so you can get to know the team too!  

Continue reading

An interview with our architect: Foss Architecture & Interiors

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Shelly & Shari standing outside with "crazy" hats on

Shelly & Shari at the RMHC Yard Sale

Foss Architecture & Interiors acted as our architect and interior designer for our new Ronald McDonald House. The new house is located at 4757 Agassiz Crossing Dr. S. in Fargo, ND. The team we worked with at Foss has been incredibly helpful, going above and beyond to ensure a beautiful space for families to recharge. From the overall architecture to the paint color on the walls, Foss has worked diligently so that the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo can continue helping families stay together.  It has been a delight working with the team at Foss throughout the entire planning and building process.

We interviewed Shari and Shelly of Foss so you can get to know part of the team too!

Talk briefly about your role at Foss Architecture & Interiors.

Foss’s role for this project was as a team. Shari being the design architect taking the project through design to documentation to construction administration. Shelly was the interior designer selecting finishes, designing interior details and preparing interiors documentation. But the Foss team extends past Shari and Shelly to include our project architect, specification writer, construction administrator and various others at Foss. Truly a team effort! Continue reading

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