Ronald McDonald House Unveils New Building in Fargo

The new space can hold up to 17 families

FARGO, N.D. — Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley has a new house in town and they showed it off during an open house.

The new house is  located near the new Sanford Medical Center in Fargo.

Staff from the Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley says before this afternoon, they would have to turn some families away because they didn’t have enough space.

“It’s heartbreaking because they’re already stressed and you feel like you just add additional stress to their situation because they have to go find a hotel and hotels are very expensive,” said Jill Christopher, executive director at the Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley.

With a new and bigger house in town, the Ronald McDonald house expects to turn people away a lot less.

The organization previously had two buildings that could each house six families. This new location can hold up to 17.

In addition to a playroom and game room, the new location also has an elevator and each room has its own bathroom.

Families who stay at Ronald McDonald homes have children with all kinds of medical conditions that force them to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.

“A lot of our families have premature babies that are in the NICU, cancer, eating disorders, all sorts of medical reasons,” Christopher said.

Kirsten Jensen’s nephew was born premature, forcing her brother and sister–in–law to stay in two different Ronald McDonald houses.

Seeing how her family was able to lean on the organization, Jensen eventually decided to be a board member for Ronald McDonald.

“It was really hard when you’re far away and you don’t know how you can help and knowing that they had a place to go where they were getting a meal and had people who really understood what they were going through, it was a big relief for our entire family that they had that network of support,” Jensen said.

A network of support that she says you can’t find in a hotel.

“When you are in the lobby of a hotel, no one knows what you’re going through and I think here, you see families able to support each other and really be compassionate and understand what each other are going through,” Jensen said.

The new Ronald McDonald home was a $5 million project. Sanford Health was just one of 600 donors for the project. They gave the Ronald McDonald House the land for the home and $1 million.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, North Dakota News