The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. (ARMHC) is an organization that provides temporary housing and support services to families of ill and injured children being treated at local hos-pitals.
The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities currently operate two houses in the metro-Atlanta area. The Gatewood House is a 50-bedroom facility located on Gatewood Road near Emory Univer-sity. It replaced the original Atlanta Ronald McDonald House on Houston Mill Road, which opened in 1979. This house features 10 two-bedroom suites for families whose children are recovering from heart, liver, kidney, or blood and marrow transplants.
The Peachtree Dunwoody House opened June 1994; this 11-bedroom house has hosted more than 7,000 families.
According to a press release statement, 1,569 families were served at the Gatewood House and 323 families were served at the Peachtree Dunwoody House in 2011.
“Everybody’s days are different,” said Lauren Chandley, marketing and communications coordina-tor for the charity. “Typically, people get up and have breakfast and then go to the hospital to check on their child. In the evenings, they hang out after dinner and families visit with and get to know each other. The [families] are all going through similar problems, so people understand each other.”
Chandley shared that the organization is currently in the process of raising funds for a new Peach-tree-Dunwoody house. “The current house is at capacity and there is a need for a new house. Our biggest challenge is raising the funds to make sure that we can provide services.”
Chandley shared that her job brings many rewards. “It’s rewarding to be able to bring comfort to families going through a difficult time. We celebrate with those who beat the odds. There are powerful stories of hope and healing and there are those who return home to a normal life.” For more informa-tion about the Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit their website at http://www.armhc.org/ or call 404-315-1133.