The Ronald McDonald House of New York at 405 East 73rd Street in New York City is a haven for families and their beloved children who are literally fighting to save their lives. Open since 1978, the Ronald McDonald House New York has fulfilled its mission of being a temporary caring “home away from home” for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Centered to be close to 13 major cancer treatment centers, the house is a loving place where families from around the world can spend time to live and heal together. It is a safe haven to find comfort and support.
In line with helping provide a support network for those caring for their ill children, Ronald McDonald House New York now has a Caregivers Integrative Wellness Program. They have noticed the need of giving the caregivers of their resident patients much needed care themselves. In an effort to provide comfort to the women, and men, that agonize about their little ones, the house now has a first of its kind, unique program offered in the spa and wellness center focused on caring for the caregivers.
The spa industry has been actively taking part volunteering their support in the innovative Ronald McDonald House spa project. With the help of local wellness spas and practitioners, the program began by giving the female guardians a respite from their own care giving with an evening of calming spa treatments. The original services used the cozy chapel on the first floor for its endeavors. The Integrative Wellness Program has since grown into a full service of practitioners and estheticians volunteering to give their services of relaxation sessions and beauty treatments both at the house and bedside at the hospital.
Ronald McDonald House New York is raising awareness for the need of caregiver services through the “Spa For A Cause” effort. With a gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation the wellness program now has its own center. The Blavatnik Wellness Center, in the beautiful atrium on the ninth floor, is now home to the spa initiative. Volunteer support from the community of wellness treatment professionals has allowed for the wonderful program to expand and provide the much needed services aimed to restore and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit of the caregiver.
Image Skincare has jumped on board to help Ronald McDonald House with its efforts, assisting in hosting a Spa For A Cause event held at the house on Dec. 3. The spa industry was invited to mingle with the home’s temporary residents for a festive holiday party. Entertainment, Santa and the Radio City Rockettes helped bring joy and awareness to the necessary need of care that the Wellness Program provides. The house is seeking practitioners and organizations to volunteer their time and resources to help the Integrative Wellness Program grow. A sample of services provided include massage, yoga, aroma therapy, manicures and pedicures, haircuts, facials and skin care. The mission statement for the wellness program is, “Taking care of the caregiver is a necessity not a luxury.”
Just about every night the home that Ronald McDonald built is filled up to its capacity of housing 84 families. It has become a place of hope and support that provides services to families caring for their young patients. Ministry support, tutors and activities to normalize life for siblings and parents are all provided at a cost of no more than $35 a night for each family. The spa program is a wonderful innovative way for the house to provide even more support to those who need to be the strongest in order to get their young ones on the road to recovery.
Thoughtful and new ideas pave the way for support, care and curing powers. All should help pay the love forward and never be afraid to dance!
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