Ronald McDonald House helping out rural families


The volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House Charity are making a difference to the lives of sick children and their families.

Being at Agfest means Greg Saunders gets to catch up with many of the families he has helped over the years.

As Ronald McDonald House overnight supervisor Mr. Saunders said that having a connection with the families is very rewarding. 

 The relationship between the families and the charity goes on long after they have stayed. 

 Ronald McDonald House Charity is spreading awareness for rural families, so when the worst of circumstances occurs, they are able to provide a safe, nurturing environment for families all across Tasmania. 

 "About 65-70 percent of the people that come to the house are from the North-West coast", he said.

 Helping out sick kids and their families in the main aim of The Ronald McDonald House Charity. 

 With many houses all over Australia, the charity has helped thousand of families since it began in 1998. 

In Hobart, the Ronald McDonald House has helped families save an estimated $46.5 million by providing accommodation and meals. 

They receive no government funding, relying only on public donations. 

 “The donations are the key that enable us to continue providing what we do and keep the standard of our accommodation to what it is”, says volunteer coordinator Lisa Tadd.

 "When their children go to the Royal Hobart Hospital, Ronald McDonald house is straight over the road and so the parents and siblings of the children come and stay with us in the house,” he said.

 Last year Ronald McDonald House Hobart became a home for 353 families and since 1998 over 6,000 families have stayed.

 “Its a very stressful time for them and we try to at least de-stress them as much as possible” he says. 

 “We are giving them an environment where they feel part of a small community, where ten families can stay overnight. Every family that stays there has something in common; they have a child that is seriously ill or sick in hospital” says Lisa Tadd.

 “We have 68 volunteers that support the house, giving their time up and they are there for the first point of call. They can talk to the family, make a cup of tea and support them during their journey” she says. 

 "It is probably the best thing that I have ever done in my life” says Greg. “We are just so lucky to be volunteers. It’s extremely rewarding”.