Parents Tae and Zach, along with their three children, Ruby, Mia and James, have stayed more than 75 nights at Ronald McDonald House Townsville, travelling from Roma, Queensland.
“We are here to have our baby, as we couldn’t have our baby in Roma,” Tae explained.
The family have been staying at Ronald McDonald House Townsville since 22 weeks gestation. Thanks to Ronald McDonald House, their regular visits to Townsville University Hospital have been just a short walk or buggy ride away.
“It’s definitely been hard, but this place was a God send. I don’t know what we would have done without this place. We definitely could not have afforded accommodation while we were here,” Zach explained.
For Tae and Zach, the free accommodation provided at Ronald McDonald House, along with the House’s close proximity to the Hospital, has helped to lift the financial burden on their family.
“Zach had to give up his job in order for us to all be here as a family. That’s been really hard,” Tae said.
“We’ve been here for a long time. There’s no cost involved with just having to walk over to the Hospital. We don’t have to pay for parking, and fuel, and everything on top.
Having access to a variety of snacks and meals provided by RMHC North Australia made the regular Hospital visits just a little bit easier on the family.
“The meals have been amazing. We have pancakes in the morning, the pancake machine’s awesome!
“The kids are doing their schooling across at the Hospital, and sometimes we just grab a couple snacks on the way.”
With the family’s regular visits to Townsville University Hospital, they have frequently used the Ronald McDonald Family Room, which is situated off the Children’s Ward.
“If it’s too hot in the playground we can go into the Family Room. There are heaps of books for the kids to read, lots of stuff to play with. It’s nice to be in there and be in the aircon,” Tae said.
“The movie night over at the Hospital at the Family Room, that was really good. It was nice to get out of our room, watch a movie and enjoy some popcorn from Event Cinemas. It was nice to have some family time.”
Tae and Zach have been taking their three children, Ruby, Mia and James, to weekly arts and crafts with RMHC North Australia’s Learning Legend volunteers, Sandra and Robyn.
“The kids got to do some gardening, they’ve made some cards, they’ve really enjoyed that,” Tae said.
Tae and Zach are grateful for the support staff and volunteers have provided them during their stay at Ronald McDonald House.
“They’re very friendly. They’re not just there to do a job, they actually chat to you like you’re a human being,” Zach explained.
“Without Ronald McDonald House, we don’t know what we would have done. We can’t thank them enough for accepting us here.”
Now the family have witnessed first-hand the difference RMHC North Australia has on local families, they are appealing to the community to support the Charity.
RMHC North Australia’s annual Colours for the Kids fundraiser is on Friday, 24 March, and Tae and Zach are encouraging the community to add a splash of colour to their day to support the appeal.
“Please get out there and support Colours for the Kids this March. [It’s] an absolutely awesome cause,” Zach exclaimed.
However your school, daycare or business adds a splash of colour; holding a free dress day, decorating the office or putting on a colourful morning tea, all funds raised support the thousands of children and families relying on RMHC North Australia every year.
Learn more or set up your fundraising page at the website.