CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local McDonald's owners/operators are committing one million dollars to Ronald McDonald House Charities South Texas to help build a new bigger home to house families with sick children visiting the city for treatment.
“We’re a home away from home for families whose children are sick enough to where they need to be really close to their doctor and to the hospital,” said Michelle Horine, the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities South Texas.
According to Horine, there is currently a waiting list for families who are trying to stay at the current Ronald McDonald House, located near Driscoll Children's Hospital on Fort Worth St.
“We have families on a waiting list, because we only have 25 rooms, and we only have so many families we can serve. Yet, there are so many more that need us that we aren’t able to serve,” she said.
The new facility would have 40 rooms to house families in need.
“Over a year period of time, that’s a significant increase in the number of people we can help, and provide a home away from home for,” said Daniel Nash, the Board Chair for RMHC South Texas. “We have a long way to go, but this million-dollar seed gift is a huge first step for this organization.”
Ten owner/operators of McDonald’s locations in South Texas pitched in for the one million dollar donation.
“We banded together, because the South Texas house is something that’s important to our local area, and we decided to make this pledge, we’re really excited about it,” said Ed Lutito, one of the local owner/operators. “All these owner/operators, they’re small business owners. We’ve all gathered together and decided we were going to pledge one million dollars. We’re really excited to kick off the capital campaign with that.”
However, the donation is just the start to building the new facility. Construction cannot begin until 80% of the financial support needed to build the new facility is reached.
RMHC is a non-profit, and relies on its donors to operate. To help contribute to the organization, a donation can be made through its website.
Once the necessary funds are reached, it will take about 18 months to build the new facility. Once it is finished, the old one will be sold, with the proceeds put back into the organization.