Having a sick or injured child at the hospital is never easy, especially when that hospital is far from home. That is why Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho opened The Family Room in 2019.  

The Family Room is located next to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Lori Priest, director of community engagement, calls the center, “a home away from home,” for families with children receiving treatment.  The Family Room features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large kitchen, a living area, a dining room and a laundry center.  

Some families stay in a bedroom while others sleep at their child’s bedside and use the family room’s resources. 

“They (the families of children at the medical center) can still be close to their little one and yet take care of themselves,” Priest said. “They’re on a difficult journey. It’s scary to have a sick child and we hear from them frequently that they’re not sure how they would do it without the Ronald McDonald Family Room.”   

The Family Room is funded through Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho’s Fundraising for Families event. This year, the three-day event goes from Monday, March 14 through Wednesday, March 16. The goal is to raise $60,000. The Family Room exists thanks to donors, Priest says. 

“I would just like to let our community know how much we appreciate the donations they provide, whether it’s financial or in kind,” Priest said. “We can’t do it without you.” 

To donate, visit rmhcidaho.org. For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Family Room, call (208) 227-2898.