BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Crews continue to put the finishing touches on the new Oishei Children’s Hospital, which opened on Friday. On Monday, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western New York opened the doors for its new Family Lounge at the hospital for the first time.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY already serves about 600 families each year at its Buffalo House on West Ferry Street. Now, with the new Family Lounge on the fifth floor of the new Oishei Children’s Hospital, the organization can serve three times as many families from around the world or across the street.
“We’re so excited because the community has supported us for the last 34 years at 780 West Ferry and now, all of the people that have been supporting us supporting families can get that same support here because it’s open to everybody. It’s not just if you’re from far away,” explained Marianne Hoover, Hospital Programs Manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY.
Any one with a child at the Oishei Children’s Hospital is invited to step inside the new Family Lounge space for some quiet time or conversation with a dedicated volunteer.
They can enjoy a complimentary snack or beverage while recharging their cell phones in secure boxes. They can also take advantage of a kitchenette with a microwave and they can even do a free load of laundry with complimentary detergent in the room across the hall, which is also sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The goal is to give families the support and amenities they need just steps from their child’s bedside.
“Obviously, it’s exciting to be able to help more families and to be able to address anybody and everybody that might have a need for quiet respite and a place to decompress while they have a child here hospitalized,” said Sally Vincent, Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY Executive Director.
“Come and try us out and have complimentary drinks and have a seat and relax,” urged Joanne Kreher, who signed up as the first volunteer in the new Family Lounge space.
The Family Lounge is now open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m Monday through Friday. The hours should expand to evenings and weekends in the near future.