Ronald McDonald House Celebrates 35 Years with Renovation

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

For the past 35 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey has helped families from out of the area during their time of need.

And Thursday, October 4th, was a big day worthy of some celebrations for more reasons than one.

For the past several months the first floor of the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey has been under construction.

“The most important reason was to add a new kitchen," said Teddy Thomas, president and CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey. "We had one kitchen and now we have two, so the families can cook something special for their child or if they’re from another country something that they’re used to eating at the same time our community groups come in to make dinner for everyone in the house.” 

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But they took it a step further than the kitchen and redid the entire first floor of the building in Camden.

“Our dining room is larger, we have a whole new TV room out in the Florida area where they’re looking out at the garden,” said Thomas.

The goal was to make the space more warm and comfortable for the families coming back to the home after a stressful day at the hospital.

“It just is much better and more useful space for them to live in and for them to cook and meet each other and make friends. So, this space is really all about what they needed,” said Thomas.

“It’s fantastic," said Brittany Joseph, a mother that’s spent many days staying at the house with her daughter. "So, seeing all these changes, knowing what it means to the families being able to come and have all this wonderful thing is just fantastic. We were actually here prior to this and we were here during some of the renovations and watching everything change and it’s just eye-opening to see all the eye-opening things that are happening here.”

Along with the renovations the house had something else to celebrate.

“It’s our 35th birthday and this is the exact day: October 4, 1983, we opened in a little tiny row house on the corner of 6th and Benson. It was 6,000 square feet and now we’re over 30,000 square feet, from 10 bedrooms to 25 families that stay with us every night,” said Thomas.

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