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Bickerdyke Elementary Students Pulling for Ronald McDonald Houses

Bickerdyke Pull Tabs 2018 1Bickerdyke Elementary School students are learning how a little thing can make a big difference in the lives of other people. The students of the three third grade classes presented three very large containers of pull tabs to McDonald's of Russell team members on October 10 at McDonald's in Russell.

The pull tabs will be exchanged for cash at Allmetal Recycling in Wichita. According to Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Susan Smythe, Allmetal Recycling is currently paying 52 cents per pound for the aluminum pull tabs. This amount changes per month and is based upon the cost of aluminum. Smythe estimates the donation should bring approximately $200.

"That is almost enough to provide two weeks of lodging for a Russell County family who might be unable to pay the modest $15 per night fee we ask," Smythe said.Bickerdyke Pull Tabs 2018 2

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home-away-from-home and a supportive atmosphere for local and out-of-town families of patients receiving medical care away from home. Because Wichita is one of Kansas' largest medical referral centers, a single Ronald McDonald House wasn't enough to meet the need of families from across the state. Wichita was the first city in the world to have two Ronald McDonald Houses. The Sleepy Hollow House, built in 1983 at 520 North Rutan, is just off the campus of Wesley Medical Center. The Midtown House, located one block north of Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus at 1110 North Emporia, was built in 1985. In October 1998, a Ronald McDonald House Family Room providing non-sleeping respite care within a hospital for families of hospitalized children was opened at Wesley Medical Center adjacent to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

While the Ronald McDonald Houses are hundreds of miles away from our area, they are a part of our communities. Almost as much as if their front yard was on our Main Street. Since opening in 1983, Wichita's two Ronald McDonald Houses and one Ronald McDonald Family Room have provided a home-away-from-home for more than 54,671 families, including 420 from Russell County.

Bickerdyke Pull Tabs 2018 3Thirty-four years after opening the first Wichita Ronald McDonald House, the needs of our families have changed as pediatric medical care in Wichita has shifted to the new Wesley Children's Hospital. This has put a very high demand on the older of the two Houses. To accomodate this need, a brand new Ronald McDonald House is scheduled to open on June 27, 2019 inside a medical building attached to Wesley Children's Hospital. This two-story, 20 bedroom House will provide families with all the amenities they need to care for their child. Each bedroom will feature plenty of room, two queen-sized beds and a private bathroom. There will be two wonderful play areas for children where they can enjoy being kids. Families may cook in two spacious kitchens or enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by volunteers. The new House even provides relaxing outdoor space where children can play and families can enjoy fresh air. If the child is hospitalized in Wesley Children's Hospital, families won't even have to go outside in Kansas' extreme temperatures and weather. A walkway located on the third floor of the building will allow direct access across the street and into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit area. The Pediatric Intensive Care and Pediatrics Units are also close by.

When children must travel long distances to access top medical care, accommodations for families can be expensive or not readily available. The new Ronald McDonald House will be there for all families that need it so they can focus on what's important - their child.

(Information courtesy McDonald's of Russell and Director of Marketing Deana Rupp.)

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