Lexington Students Put Their Hospitality Skills into Practice at Ronald McDonald House
Last spring, Lexington’s Housekeeping Management students decided to change the world for the better. Rather than choosing a for-profit application of their classroom theory, they volunteered to create a housekeeping plan for the newly-built Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital. Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago opened its doors on June 26, 2012, at 211 East Grand Avenue in downtown Chicago. The House is currently the largest in the nation: 15- stories in height. It houses up to 86 families of children in active treatment at Lurie’s, allowing them to stay close to their children, and offering them care and comfort, including a rooftop healing deck and a kitchen filled with home-cooked meals and supportive conversation. They ask a donation of $10 per night from each family, but no family is turned away if they are unable to contribute.
Though the building’s facilities are state-of-the-art, it is staffed for the most part by generous volunteers who cover essential services such as home-cooked meals, cleaning duties, administrative work, etc. Our students created a housekeeping plan that takes into account the small cleaning staff and the varying availability of volunteers. Ronald McDonald House adopted this plan, and Lexington students volunteered for the first deep cleaning on October 19, 2013.
The team included Mary and Brittney, who actually helped craft the plan, Charlene, Regina and Vicky from Lexington College. Two generous high school students from Lexington College’s Art of Living Program, Julia and Gabriela, also pitched in to help. The team spent three solid hours cleaning the laundry, 12 floors of the main staircase, and the entryway. They were able to see the families coming in and going out of the building, sometimes with their seriously ill child. “The most impressive thing was to see the parents,” said Vicky. “The children – even though they are sick – are still children, and they sometimes laughed and said hello to us. But the look on the parents’ faces was indescribable. Ronald McDonald House really provides an important service to these families.”
We are now planning to volunteer for deep cleaning sessions on a semi-annual basis, in the fall and the spring. If you are interested in joining us, please call Vicky Ticzon at 312-226-6294.