It's a place to call home for families who need to be near a hospital for long-term care for the children.
An upcoming event gives you the chance to help out the Ronald McDonald House and ride to the Vermont State Fair in style.
The story of Isis Clark and her family shows why the charity is so important.
Clark, age 6, has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington with her parents Melissa and Ted for the last 3 weeks. Her journey there started in January when Isis was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
“Watching your child go through this is heartbreaking,” said her mother, Melissa Clark.
Isis has been receiving aggressive treatment at Fletcher Allen Health Care. That’s a 40-minute drive from the family's home in Montpelier. Staying at the Ronald McDonald house has reduced the ride to just one mile.
“She's had reaction from medications. It's a lot easier being here and being closer to the hospital,” said Melissa Clark.
That, after all, is the mission of the Ronald McDonald House.
“That's usually the first thing that pops into a family's mind after they find out that their child has to be hospitalized: where do the parents stay? Am I going to sleep in my child's bed? The Ronald McDonald seeks to be that place that they can stay,” explained Deanna Cameron, Program Coordinator at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington.
To house one family for one night costs the organization up to $80. The Burlington House lodges 400 families a year. 500 more a month stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Fletcher Allen.
To save the financial burden from the families, the Ronald McDonald House relies on fundraisers.
And you can help. On Saturday, September 6th, the charity is holding its first ever “Midway Express” train ride from Burlington to the Vermont State Fair in Rutland with stops along the way in Charlotte and Middlebury.
Tickets are $40 and include admission to the fair.
“All the proceeds are coming to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. So it's a fun day to help a great cause,” said Cameron.
A cause that gives kids like Isis a comfortable home away from home. “She has a spark in her and a fight that is going to get her through this,” said her mother, Melissa.
If you'd like to hitch a ride on the Midway Express, you can still buy tickets!
Check out this website: http://www.rmhcvt.org/news-events/2014-midway-express/ or call Deanna Cameron at 802-862-4943.