© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Ronald McDonald House struggling for stability

Tia McDougall
RMHC flag
Ronald McDonald House Flag   RMH FaceBook

Financial deficit in Ronald McDonald House's annual budget has prompted an emergency campaign to keep the charity afloat

RMHC New Zealand is a charity that supports families when their child is in a hospital away from home.

During level four lockdown the service was deemed essential, so continued providing accommodation for families with children receiving treatment.

The charity operates predominantly through donations and fundraisers, with partial Government support. 

Despite a big increase in additional costs driven from external suppliers of accommodation, and food-funding delivery, RMHC is not receiving additional Government funding due to COVID-19.

Fundraising events and the majority of volunteer work has also been cancelled due to social distancing measures. 

To maintain financial stability, the charity has launched a new campaign which reminds people that cancer and other medical treatments do not stop because of COVID-19.

Ronald Mcdnald House COVID19
Ronald McDonald House COVID-19 campaign. Ronald McDonald House website

RMHC New Zealand CEO, Wayne Howett, says last year the charity provided 44,000 nights of accommodation to more than 4,600 families nationwide. 

“With all our fundraising events cancelled for the foreseeable future, we have a significant financial deficit in RMHC New Zealand’s annual budget.

"Yet as an essential social service, we still have a great deal of families to support. We have launched the emergency campaign to help cover the costs aligned with continuing to support our families during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Howett says. 

Last year the charity saved families over $11 million in accommodation, meals and parking costs.

Howett fears the charity won’t meet its average $11 million a year.

“Health and safety of our families is the number one priority, but this year it comes at a cost.”

If you would like to donate to Ronald McDonald House, visit https://rmhc.org.nz