Ronald McDonald House Sees Decrease in Donations
Santasia Rice says she's ready to go home and spend Christmas with her dad and her sister.
And, her 17th birthday is coming up.
"I'll probably have a party," Rice said.
Rice has spent the past nine days at Shands UF after a complication with a new kidney she received in June..
But since she can't go home yet, and neither can her father, who's from Daytona, he's been relying on the Ronald Mcdonald House for a place to stay.
"It's like a big family. It's a beautiful place to stay," Rice said.
Families of critically ill children stay at the Ronald Mcdonald House..
In fact, since the house opened in Gainesville in 1982 it has helped more than 27,000 families.
But now the house itself needs some help.
"I think along with every non-profit and business in our area, we definitely have noticed a decline in donations," Theresa Drews, House Director, said.
And the house replies almost entirely on those donations.
Drew says with the economy in a recession and people not donating as much, the house might have to cut back on services in the future.
And that would affect parents and children who stay here... Like Melissa, who's been undergoing chemo since July and says she loves staying at the house.
"I have a lot of friends. I've made a lot of friends here," Melissa Santana, said.
House employees say in times like these when the only concern on most children's minds is what Santa is bringing them... it's important to remember others are out there with bigger concerns.
Rice says he doesn't know where he'd stay if the Ronald Mcdonald house wasn't here.
"I'm sure me and a whole lot of other parents would've just had no option but to stay at the hospital, Rice said.
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