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Nursing students deliver donations to Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina has helped families with children in the hospital for 30 years in Greenville. As its philanthropy project, the Beaufort County Association of Nursing Students dropped off several car-loads of donations to the organization on March 22. Beaufort County Community College employees, students and community members all donated supplies.

RMH has two locations in Greenville, a 25-bedroom facility on Moye Blvd. and a 6-bedroom facility at Vidant Medical Center. These facilities provide children and their families a place to stay while they are receiving medical treatment. Modeled to be refuges from the stressful hospital environment, they look like ordinary homes or hotels, with community kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and play rooms.

People staying at RMH must live over 30 miles from the hospital, and they are asked for a $10 donation per night, but no one is turned away.

By far premature births are the most prominent reason why families stay at the RMH. The two Greenville facilities are responsible for all of all of eastern North Carolina. RMH provided rooms for almost 600 families in 2017.

“You think of all the teeny tiny babies in the NICU; their families need to have support,” said BCANS president Makayla Cutler. “What we’re doing is really crucial to giving them that support and the opportunity to stay somewhere that doesn’t cost a lot of money and support their baby.”

Ronald McDonald House only receives about 18 percent of its funding from McDonald’s. It relies on community monetary and in-kind donations for much of its operational costs. BCANS collected items such as trash bags, bleach, umbrellas, cleaning products, and condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and coffee creamer. It was the only nursing student association in RMH’s 50 county service area to hold a drive for the organization this year.

BCANS hosts speakers to provide future nurses with insight on public health issues. The group exposes students to volunteer opportunities in the community that relate to public health and social services.