OUR SAY: Three years on, celebrating the house that Orange built

ALL FOR THEM: Ronald McDonald House Orange offers so much to its guests.
ALL FOR THEM: Ronald McDonald House Orange offers so much to its guests.

Past and present staff, volunteers and grateful guests descended on the Bloomfield campus site on Saturday to pay tribute to the House that Orange built.

Three years on from the opening of the doors of Ronald McDonald House Orange (RMHO), the figures that reflect the catchment area of families who need to stay at the house while their children are being treated show just how essential the facility is for families in need.

In total, 374 families from across the state have made use of the house since it opened, using its walls, roof and comforts to get through some of their darkest days.

Without exception, everyone who has visited or needed to stay in the house since it opened its doors has sung the praises of its wonderful, homely atmosphere and of the dedicated volunteers who are on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week roster.

No family is asked to pay for their room, and indeed it would be impossible for many families to do so, which is why prior to the house’s opening it was not uncommon for hospital staff to hear families were sleeping in their cars while their children were being treated at Orange hospital.

The facility was 10 years in the planning and the fundraising process was a formidable task.

Running on the efforts of volunteers, it is gratifying to heard word continues to spread to communities all over the state after families return home and begin their own fundraising, or help to set up local committees for the house.

The home away from home services three quarters of the state and covers five health districts, which is also reflected in the figures showing how far some families have traveled to seek the expert care and attention available at our hospital.

Judging solely on the (sometimes tearful) smiles of many who returned to the House on Saturday, it remembered as a place of warmth, safety and comfort.

For years the name Ronald McDonald House was synonymous as a place in Sydney where families from regional and rural areas could stay while their child was were receiving specialist care.

Thanks to the ongoing blood, sweat and tears of so many, that hasn’t been the case since 2015 – the house that Orange built has seen to that.

On behalf of so many, the Central Western Daily offers its sincere thanks to all involved in this wonderful service.