Chamber learns about children’s charity

A spokesperson for Ronald McDonald House Charities told local leaders about the organization’s many projects Wednesday.

Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce members attending the Eggs and Issues meeting Wednesday morning received updates about the newly opened family room of WVU Children’s Hospital at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The room, which opened in June, was created by Ronald McDonald House Charities in Morgantown, said Katie Wertz, development director for the charity.

“We are here because a lot of families from this area stay at our house,” Wertz said. “The house is open to people living more than 50 miles from the hospital who have a patient 18 years old or younger.”

Wertz said the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown runs at 99 percent capacity, and other space was needed. Rather than build onto the current facility, officials decided to add a family room in the hospital, which provides an area where parents can relax and still be close to their child.

“The family room has a seating area, a private bathroom with a shower, a computer with Internet, kitchen, library, play area for children and a nursing nook,” Wertz said.

Wertz said there are many benefits to the family room.

“This gives parents an area where they can go to alleviate stress by providing an escape just a few steps from their child,” Wertz said. “Research shows a family presence in the hospital helps children heal quicker.”

Wertz said the charity needs funding to remain open.

“We have a helping hands campaign where businesses, organizations and private donors can purchase a hand for our wall,” Wertz said. “Other ways to help include spreading the good word of Ronald McDonald House Charities, liking the RMHC site on Facebook and Twitter, donating services, donating time, providing specific funding and recycling programs.”

Wertz said each year donations of recycled soda can tabs generate between $40,000 and $50,000. Additionally, the charity receives funds from donations of recycled printer cartridges and used cell phones.

“We get about $15,000 to $20,000 per year for the printer cartridges and up to $100 for each cell phone,” Wertz said. “You can either bring items to the RMHC in Morgantown, take them to the Chamber office or let the recycling center know you want the money to come to us. We can also make arrangements to come pick up items.”

The Ronald McDonald House is located at 841 Country Club Drive in Morgantown. Additional information is available online at or by calling 304-598-0050.