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Our Heartfelt Goodbye to Kelly Thompson, CEO

What makes Kelly special is not only the time we have spent with her; rather it is her spirit, her very presence, and her tenacious affection for the organization and everyone she encounters. She simply believes that an individual can change the lives of people for the better – something she demonstrates each and every day.Today, all of us at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois lean on these wise words of advice from Dr. Seuss. It is with heavy hearts that we prepare for the departure of our CEO Kelly Thompson. Kelly, who has been our leader and dear friend for nearly a decade, is embarking on a new adventure and beginning her next chapter. For that, we have the utmost admiration, understanding, and happiness.

While it may be cliché to refer to someone as “one of a kind,” that compliment is not lost on anyone that has ever met Kelly. We will always cherish our memories of her, which are far too countless to mention here. What makes Kelly special is not only the time we have spent with her; rather it is her spirit, her very presence, and her tenacious affection for the organization and everyone she encounters. She simply believes that an individual can change the lives of people for the better – something she demonstrates each and every day. It’s in her very nature to be kind, compassionate, consistent, and caring, all tinged with great optimism and faith.

There are not enough words to adequately articulate our appreciation, affection, and our great sense of loss. What we can say to Kelly is simply, Thank you. We send you and your family off with our very best hopes and wishes, and a reminder to always keep your weather-eye on the horizon.

For all of us at RMHCCI – our staff, Board, volunteers, partners, donors, and friends – we may not be crying because it’s over – but to be sure, we are still a little sad. Thank you for being part of an amazing decade of hope with us!

CEO Kelly Thompson is embarking on a new adventure and beginning her next chapter. For that, we have the utmost admiration, understanding, and happiness.

Important COVID-19 Information – check back for updates

We have re-opened the Peoria House to family stays.

Peoria RMH Guests must follow additional Temporary Standards (PDF), and answer additional screening questions.

For questions, call the Peoria RMH at 309-401-2525.

We have re-opened the Springfield House to family stays.

The Springfield House is not taking Guest Applications through our website at this time.

To stay at the Springfield Ronald McDonald House, you must be referred by the hospital where your child is being treated. Please contact your hospital’s nurse manager or social worker to learn more about the referral process.

For questions, call the Springfield RMH at 217-528-3314.

For updates, please check our website regularly.

This post was updated on June 30, 2020.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois awarded COVID-19 Response Fund Grant

We are grateful to the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln for selecting us as one of the recent recipients of the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Greater Capital Region of Illinois grant! This support will help us continue to provide meals to the families we are serving! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

See the original post on Facebook...

Eleven organizations were awarded in this round, one of which was Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, which was awarded $19,000:

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and United Way of Central Illinois announced a fifth round of COVID-19 Response Fund grant recipients [on April 24, 2020].

In total, $125,500 was awarded to the following organizations: The Salvation Army Clear Lake Corps and Community Center, $25,000; Springfield Branch-NAACP, $25,000; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, $19,000; The Outlet, $18,000; Pregnancy Care Center of Springfield, Inc., $10,000; YMCA of Springfield, $6,500; Panhandle Food Pantry, Raymond, $6,000; Jacksonville Area Community Food Center, $5,000; Pure Haven Family Resource Center, $5,000; Kemmerer Village, Assumption, $4,500 and Capital City Coalition, $1,500.

Grants are administered in partnership with the Pandemic Community Advisory Group.

Donors have now contributed and pledged over $530,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund, including $50,000 in seed funding from the Community Foundation and United Way and $250,000 from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund.

Read the full story at SJ-R.com...

A very special thank you to our all-volunteer Board of Directors!

As the end of National Volunteer Month has come, we want to extend a very special thank you to our all-volunteer Board of Directors! They spend countless hours providing guidance and direction for all areas of our charity’s operations, and because of them, we are able to continue to fulfill our mission each and everyday, even during this unprecedented pandemic.

Thank you to ALL of our volunteers! We can’t wait to see you again.

A few quick and easy ideas that help support the many families we serve at the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois.

Wondering how you can help during this time? Here are a few quick and easy ideas that help support the many families we serve at the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois. Pick your favorite then share the ideas with your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference.

1. Host a Facebook Fundraiser

Facebook makes it easy to set up a fundraiser from home for causes that are important to you. Simply go to facebook.com/fundraisers, select Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois as the non-profit and follow the instructions listed.

2. Shop Our Wishlists

Check out the wishlists for both central Illinois Houses at rmhc-centralillinois.org/house-wish-list. This includes everyday items for families to use and more. All shopping can be done from your favorite spot on the couch and you can have supplies shipped straight to our Houses!

3. Host a Benefit or Event

Of course, if you plan anything over the next few weeks it would have to be a virtual event, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a huge impact. Ask your favorite local band if they want to help host a virtual concert, or perhaps you can meet up with your friends on Zoom for a Trivia style fundraiser event. Now is also a great time to start planning for when you CAN get together with your friends and family again. Start planning to throw a neighborhood fundraiser party, community benefit, or 5K runs/walks.

Simple or big… everything you do can make a difference.

Questions?

Contact our Development Director, Kendyl Wear at kw@rmhc-centralillinois.org or call 217-528-3314 ext. 148 in Springfield or 309-401-2525 in Peoria. Also remember, we still have Peoria House room sponsorships available!

WAND17: Ronald McDonald house unable to accept new families due to COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) -The Ronald McDonald house is critical for families who have children in the NICU, but COVID-19 has made it impossible for the charity to extend its outreach.

Watch the video and read the full article at WANDTV.com...

The CEO of Ronald McDonald Charities of Central Illinois, Kelly Thompson, says a measure was put into place to protect families that were already staying at the house.

"When the shelter in place mandate started, with the governor and also around the global, Ronald McDonald houses had to suspend the intake of new family registration," Thompson says....

Scott and Natalie [Clodfelter] live in Forsyth, and they say it would be very difficult to see their son if they weren't able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house.

"It'd be a lot, driving back and forth from Forsyth to Springfield, spending a lot of money on gas," Scott says.

For some families though, Thompson says that's the new reality.

"On the day that the COVID pandemic hit, we had over ten families staying with us and now, we are down to four families," Thompson says. "We would love to serve every single family right now that needs it but because we need to protect everyone that is in the program and their children; we have this mandate in place."...

Although COVID-19 has added more stress, the Clodfelter's say they feel lucky to be able to visit their son each day.

"Until you need it, you may not even know this is here; but this place is very important," Natalie says. "Whenever your child is born, and you don't expect this, it's not something you can prepare for. It's amazing you have this resource available."

The Ronald McDonald house received a $19,000 grant from the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, which will help provide meals to the families. Thompson says the house is also in need of things such as cleaning supplies....

Written by Madison O'Brien
Originally posted April 27, 2020.

Read the full article at WANDTV.com...

What RMHC of Central Illinois is doing to keep our families safe!

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois is RMH is making masks available and required for families and staff inside the House during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RMH is making masks available and required for families and staff inside the House

Here at RMHC of Central Illinois, keeping our families and their sick children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to our mission of providing programs for the well-being of children. A few things we are doing to keep those we serve safe include:

  • Making masks available and required for families and staff inside the House
  • In Illinois, due to the shelter-in-place mandate, we suspended visitors and new family registrations to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus
  • Created a new staffing model to limit exposure
  • Implemented additional cleaning procedures and protocols

To help offset some of the changes, our staff created a “Hearts for Healthcare Workers” art project that guest families participated in as a group from the comfort of their guest suites. The display is proudly visible in our front window (and is still growing) and shows our support and gratitude to all of the front line workers.

Send us a heart and we’ll add it!

To help offset some of the changes, our staff created a “Hearts for Healthcare Workers” art project that guest families participated in as a group from the comfort of their guest suites.

"Hearts for Healthcare Workers"

The display is proudly visible in our front window (and is still growing) and shows our support and gratitude to all of the front line workers.

"Hearts for Healthcare Workers"

 

Featured Volunteer: Libby

We are in the last few days of this year's National Volunteer Month! Today we would like to introduce you to Libby.

Libby, pictured here with her family, has been a Guest Services volunteer at the Peoria house since January 2020. After her family spent the majority of 2009 at the Memphis RMH she felt the Peoria House was a great opportunity for her to give back.

“Having a true home environment while dealing with a sick child was such a blessing for us. We loved having the opportunity to interact with other families who were going through similar situations. The meals and activities that happened in the evenings were great to keep us focused on the good in the world. I love seeing the smiles on the kids and the parents, as well, when I’m in the House. It’s fun getting to know each person better as they walk their own medical journey. It fills my heart more than I ever expected.”

Thank you Libby for all you do at the Peoria house!

Want to help us give our Houses a good SPRING CLEAN (and keep all the germs out)?

Help us stock up on cleaning supplies. Here are just a few items you can ship to either our Springfield House or Peoria House:

  • Jumbo Clorox/Lysol Wipes
  • Hand Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Non-medical Face Masks
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Forehead Thermometer for Adults & Children
  • Bleach
  • Mr. Clean All Purpose Cleaner
  • Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Cleaner
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Mr. Clean (CLEAN FREAK)
  • Stain removers
  • Laundry Pods- dye & scent free
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Kitchen sized trash bags (24-35 Gallon)

For more ideas, see our full list of items!

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