The Vertex Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization that seeks to improve the lives of people with serious diseases and in its communities through education, innovation and health programs. One focus of the Foundation’s work is promoting healthy families. A child living with a serious illness impacts the whole family, and that’s why the Foundation established a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in 2019. The mission of RMHC is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. It operates in over 60 countries and regions, provides 1.8 million overnight stays for families annually, and enables and promotes family-centered care.
The Vertex Foundation’s initial grant supported the construction of a new 53-bedroom Ronald McDonald House in Ireland and a new Family Welcome Center in San Diego, California, along with 333 nights of lodging and 10,000 meals for guests staying in San Diego.
I’m pleased to share that the Foundation continues building its partnership with RMHC in five more countries.
Building new spaces for families
In Seville, Spain, the Foundation is supporting the construction of a new 20-room Ronald McDonald House located at Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío in the center of Seville. The new Ronald McDonald House will provide accommodation for up to 300 families a year.
In Germany, the Foundation will support a new Welcome Area in Ronald McDonald House Vogtareuth, which is scheduled to open in early summer 2023. It will host 450 families a year in 20 apartments when open. In Italy, the Foundation’s grant will help construct a new Ronald McDonald Family Room for families of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at Careggi University Hospital in Florence.
Providing training and nourishment
Across all five Ronald McDonald House programs in Sweden, the Foundation is supporting a new meal program that has benefitted 720 families so far in 2022. Our support will provide 12 months of meal kits for all 4,000 families when they arrive at the Houses, helping ease the check-in process. In addition, we are supporting staff training to conduct critical fire safety and first aid training for program staff, and our grant will enable staff training to continue in the fall with a focus on family engagement activities.
Removing language barriers
To solve a need to provide information for guest families in languages other than English, the Foundation is supporting RMHC Australia to translate their website and welcome packs into five languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, French and Arabic. This information will better support the diverse range of families and cultures that are served by the 18 Ronald McDonald House programs located throughout Australia.
Supporting Ukrainian families
With the ongoing war in Ukraine, RMHC and its network of local Chapters throughout Europe is uniquely positioned to support displaced Ukrainian families by removing barriers such as cost, proximity and accommodations. The Foundation is providing a grant to support up to 10 Ukrainian families at RMHC programs across Europe, and this support will include housing, meals, clothing, school needs, mobile phones in new countries, translation and connection to local legal services when needed.
Our work at the Vertex Foundation is centered around making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work. We are continually assessing and evaluating our strategy and programs to achieve that goal, and our evolving partnership with RHMC is an excellent example of adapting to meet the needs of local communities.
Learn more about the Vertex Foundation at www.vertexfoundation.org.