By Bryan Doyle
July 26, 2005
As summer session draw to a close and many students prepare for a final break with their family before the fall session, families who call the Ronald McDonald house home will be absent from friends and family while their child is fighting for his or her life.
The Ronald McDonald house in Memphis is low or out of many basic supplies.
The Theta Psi chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., is seeking support from students and residents this week to get the needed items.
The items include clothing, paper towels, paper plates, bleach, juice boxes and individually wrapped food items.
Boxes will be located at the Turner Center and in the Southern Breeze of the Student Union this week for donors to turn in supplies.
“Ronald McDonald house is our philanthropy, so we always do whatever we can to try to raise money or just to help with supplies,” said Janna Hughes, the sorority’s president and a senior journalism major from Madison.
The house receives steady support from local churches, businesses and schools during the year. During the summer, however, supplies run low with school out and many on vacation, according to Executive Director Linda Miller.
“They are in dire need of supplies,” Hughes said.
“It’s important to think about those families because they have a sick child.”
The Ronald McDonald House serves 51 children who are patients of St. Jude Medical Center and their families.
There are about 240 families from outside of Memphis that uses this variety of housing, most of which stay at two facilities under St. Jude, according to Miller.
The sick children stay with their family at the house, which is unique to Memphis, Tenn., she said.
Most Ronald McDonald houses across the country work with parents of inpatients, but through working with St. Jude, the Memphis house is occupied by outpatient families, which is why the pantry supplies are so important, Miller said.
“It’s the family’s home away from home,” Miller said.
“If you go to the doctor and find out with your child has a tumor, you have to leave your home and virtually move to another one,” Miller said.
Most supplies at the Ronald McDonald house are donated, but some supplies have been purchased by the organization.
The house provides a community for parents with seriously ill children, she said.
Miller said that paper towel supplies particularly are a critical shortage. She stressed that any food that is given be kept in individual food packages.
In the organization i am apart of we have done some work with the Ronald McDonald House so it really is important for the families of those ill children. Kudos to the AKAs for recognizing that and doing their part to bring necessary items in the House so it can operate as it needs too.