During 2020 RMHC Australia and our 11 RMHC Chapters continued their outstanding daily work while ensuring the safety and care of our families, volunteers and staff throughout COVID-19.
Impact Report 2020
A Virtual Classroom
When a child is sick, they inevitably miss time at school. At RMHC we understand the importance of ensuring seriously ill children keep up to speed with their learning, easing their anxieties and allowing them to focus their attention on something other than their illness. COVID-19 meant that we had to quickly adapt our Learning Program from face-to-face delivery to online tutorial sessions: and thanks to the RMHC Chapters across the country that didn’t stop us from delivering an outstanding Program. By the end of the year, over 3000 online Learning Program tuition sessions had been delivered across the country, and over 28,000 teachers, university students and educators had taken part in our virtual EDMed™ professional development program: a truly outstanding effort that ensured everyone felt connected during a time of forced isolation.
RMHC ACT & South East NSW
Wrapped in Love
With the Family Room in Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (Canberra) closed due to the pandemic, the team at RMHC ACT & South East NSW focused on making sure families remained cared for and supported during their stay. The Wrapped In Love initiative saw the Chapter deliver hand-wrapped care packages with essential items for parents and small gifts for children to help them get through the days with a smile — and help the time pass a little easier.
RMHC Greater Western Sydney
Don’t Stop The Dancing
The unfortunate cancellation of the 13th NSW Line Dance Ball didn’t stop the team at RMHC Greater Western Sydney putting on their dancing shoes. Knowing they had to come up with something unique to raise funds for the year, RMHC GWS created Dance for Sick Kids™: a virtual dancing challenge where dancers were invited to show their best moves every day of National Families Week. Launched within two weeks of the State’s peak lockdown, Dance for Sick Kids™ saw people from all over Australia dance in their living rooms, kitchens, sheds, bedrooms and gardens, helping to raise money for our families. It was so successful that the campaign was extended for a further four-week run, eventually raising over $350,000!
RMHC Northern NSW
Red Hearts Club
The Red Hearts Club was formed during the year to ensure volunteers who are over 70 and were unable to return to volunteering during the pandemic kept in-touch with RMHC Northern NSW and remained up to date with news and events. This has been particularly important in maintaining relationships and connections with long-term volunteers, including those who have been with the Chapter for as long as 30 years.
Family Care & Check-ups
Room service trolleys were introduced for families staying in the House and who had to stay in their rooms as part of social distancing restrictions. Each cart was stocked with essential items including cereals, condiments, snacks, toilet paper, plates and cutlery. As items were delivered, RMHC Orange volunteers were able to check-up on families and make sure they were coping with the restrictions — and offer assistance or additional support where needed. Local cafes also provided delicious emergency meals for families including those housed offsite in nearby hotels during the pandemic.
With a host of celebrity ambassadors including Cameron Daddo, Matt and Jess Price, Samantha Jade, Benji Marshall, Chad Hurst and Alfie Arcuri, RMHC Sydney hosted one of the most unique virtual campaigns of the year — and the stars of the show were pets of all shapes and sizes. The Pawsy Challenges and Pawfessional Challenges, saw people and their pets complete challenges over seven days in August. Contestants had to post their challenges on social media, with the main aim of making our families and children smile. A total of 586 pets strutted their stuff, raising over $80,000 in the process. With the use of the #pawsforsickkids hashtag, RMHC Sydney captured over 11,000 social media images and videos from fundraisers and ambassadors of all types of pets including dogs, cats, birds, horses, a cow, a pig and even a guinea pig!
RMHC Wagga Wagga
60 Nights in 60 Days
This was the first-ever digital campaign for RMHC Wagga Wagga and came with a goal of raising $10,000 through promoting 60 nights worth of accommodation over a 60-day period. Using social media channels and word of mouth, the campaign was a huge success, raising its target and increasing awareness of RMHC to a wider audience.
RMHC South East Queensland
Giving Their All
Staff across RMHC South East Queensland not only gave their all to our Mission and families during the year, they also helped save $450,000 for the Chapter through sacrificing their salaries and expenses. The voluntary program was established to offset reduced fundraising activities due to COVID-19 restrictions being in place across the region. Staff members made significant sacrifices — donating their annual pay rise, reducing their paid working hours and even donating funds from their own pockets to ensure our Mission could go on and families remained cared for and safe during the year.
RMCH North Australia
Jump to it!
When the Family Room at the Townsville Hospital had to close, the team at RMHC North Australia sprang into action and brought the Family Room to families on the Children’s Ward. Known as the Family Room on the Go — or FROGs for short — the team repurposed a sturdy trolley and delivered meals, snacks and boredom busters for sick children and their families to the safety and comfort of their bedside. Needless to say, FROGs was a hopping success!
RMHC South Australia
Meals on Wheels, from the Heart
When the RMHC South Australia’s Meals from the Heart Family Dinner Program had to be paused due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team quickly ensured families were cared for by partnering with Meals on Wheels to deliver family meals each week without fail. To make sure all families remained well looked after, RMHC SA also delivered special care packages that included games for the children, books and chocolates for the parents.
RMHC VIC & TAS
A Million Reasons to Say Thanks
Along with restaurants in South Australia and Queensland, local McDonald’s® restaurants across Victoria and Tasmania let nothing stand in their way of supporting the exceptional work of RMHC VIC & TAS to support families with seriously ill children during the year. With fundraising events cancelled due to the pandemic, McDonald’s® stepped in to help raise much needed funds and saw over $100,000 raised from coffee sales and $900,000 from sales of Big Macs®.
RMHC Western Australia
Giving Their All
Nothing could stop the team at RMHC Western Australia from raising much-needed funds during the pandemic. RMHC WA forged new ground and connection across the region with the launch of its inaugural WA Giving Day. For the first time, RMHC WA presented a 12-hour online fundraising event experience hosted by Patron, Adam Gilchrist, live from Ronald McDonald House Nedlands. With the support of businesses passionate about the well-being of regional families, every dollar from the community was doubled, helping to raise over $265,000.