By Bonnie Culverhouse
JOURNAL STAFF – As May is wrapping up, Ronald McDonald House Charities’ organizers have raised almost half of the $10 million needed to build a new facility in Shreveport-Bossier.
“As far as the construction part, we are more than halfway,” said CEO Janell Mason. “Our goal is to get to $6.4 million by the end of the year in donations and pledges so we can start construction.”
Last week, Mason was in Shreveport and said at that point, organizers had collected nearly $4.3 million.
“We’ve been meeting with philanthropists in the community just sharing about the project,” she said. “We are in that silent phase – we aren’t doing a broad ask.”
She said it often takes several meetings to get to the point of receiving a donation.
Ronald McDonald House has released plans to build the new $10 million, 3-story, 20,000 square ft. facility in the Shreveport-Bossier area that will house families and serve hospitals there and in surrounding parishes.
The complex will be located near Willis-Knighton South. There will be 20 family suites, indoor/outdoor place spaces, expansive kitchen and large dining room, laundry rooms, meals and snacks and personal care items, just to name a few amenities. All services are provided free to families.
While in town, Mason said she met with local architects TEG. Organizers want to keep the project as local as possible, she said.
“In a couple of weeks, we will have a meeting where the project is announced in the construction industry,” she said. “We will invite all subcontractors to come hear about the project. They will hear from families touched by Ronald McDonald House.
“When open, parents will no longer be forced to sleep in their cars while their child is hospitalized or miss life-saving appointments and procedures due to financial limitations,” Mason added.