News

Jill Crocker hired as Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jill Crocker was recently selected as the new Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis after an in-depth selection process by the Board of Directors. Crocker’s hiring is effective January 3, 2017.

Crocker has 27 years of banking experience, most recently as a Portfolio Credit Underwriter for Bank of America, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. In addition to her years of financial experience, Crocker has also served as President and Treasurer of the Le Bonheur Club, served as the Chairman of the Board of The Urban Child Institute and volunteers with the youth program at Germantown Presbyterian Church.

“The board is excited to bring Jill on board as the new Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis,” said Nancy Mills, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis Board of Directors President. “Jill’s extensive financial background as well as her experience in the Memphis non-profit community will be great assets to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.”

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, at no charge to our guests, provides supportive services and a “home-away-from-home” for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital families and their children receiving treatment for cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses. Since opening its doors in 1991, Ronald McDonald House® of Memphis has provided a home for more than 9,100 children from nearly every state and 45 countries. To learn more about us, visit www.rmhc-memphis.org.

Posted by John Parie | 0 comments
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First Family Returns to Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House of Memphis recently had a very special family visit the House during its 25th anniversary celebration week.

The Denman family, the first family to stay here, returned to Memphis to tour the House for the first time in more than 20 years.

Danette Denman’s son Adam was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma several years before Ronald McDonald House of Memphis first opened its doors. Their stays in Memphis while he received treatment were much different before they moved into the House in 1991.

“Not having a car, I washed our laundry in the tub and used the garbage can as a refrigerator. The portable electric burner in the corner on the floor was my ‘stove’ for those macaroni and cheese attacks Adam would frequently have. As the weeks went by, the walls seemed to get a little closer,” Denman wrote in the first Ronald McDonald House of Memphis newsletter. “The loneliness we felt became unbearable.”

Moving into the House gave the Denman’s a kitchen to cook in, on-site laundry facilities and other families to talk to that were going through the same things they were.

"There are a lot of emotions returning here," said Denman. "It's been a long time since I've been here."

"I was just glad to have a clean, nice place to come back to after a long day at the hospital," said Denman. "It's a happy place. The colors have changed since we have been here, there have been changes for the good and they've implemented a lot of really nice things for the families."

When the Denman’s were last here, the House only had 24 rooms, compared the 53 it now has. The House didn’t have the family game room, teen room or meditation room – just to name a few of the upgrades and special touches that have been done over the years.

"The House is everything I always remembered," said Denman. "The people in Memphis are wonderful and the hospitality's great...Memphis is home away from home and it always will be."

The one thing that hasn’t changed since Ronald McDonald House of Memphis opened its doors is it is still a “home-away-from-home” for families going through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

Posted by John Parie at Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 0 comments
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Mom Finds Peace in Ronald McDonald House Kitchen

Many people turn to a quiet place when they are feeling stressed, one Ronald McDonald House of Memphis mom eases her mind among the clanging of pots and pans.

“Back home my two favorite things are baking and gardening. I can’t garden here, so cooking is my outlet,” Shannon said. “At home the kitchen is the center of our house and we spend a lot of time there as a family.”

Shannon’s son Joshua was diagnosed with cancer two days before Thanksgiving and they traveled to Memphis to begin treatment soon after.

“After we moved in to Ronald McDonald House, I found that a lot of the families here do the same thing,” she said. “We all congregate in the kitchen once the kids are settled and talk about our days. We all bake together and offer each other support.”

“When you first find out your kid has cancer and you have to travel to Memphis, everything is just so hectic,” the California native said. “Once we got to Ronald McDonald House, we just started bonding with the other families and everything calmed down.”

“The kitchen is my sanctuary and I’m so grateful to have one to use here. After a rough day at the hospital, I go cook or bake. It is how I relieve stress,” she said. “Having the kitchens outside of the rooms is great. It forces you to come out of your room and interact with the other families. The connections and friendships you make with the other parents going through the something is what helps get you through this.”

“I’m so grateful for all of the friendships I have made here during the many late nights I’ve spent in the kitchen,” she said.

Posted by John Parie at Tuesday, July 19, 2016 | 0 comments
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Hospitality Inspires Family to Give Back

Carey used to drive by the Ronald McDonald House in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma all the time, but never really thought of the impact a Ronald McDonald House could have on her family. In May of 2016 that all changed when her son Drake was diagnosed with brain cancer.
     
“We really weren’t sure what to think when we were traveling to Memphis,” Carey said. “There is so much information coming at you at a time like that; it is a little overwhelming.”
Once they got settled in, they started to see what truly made a Ronald McDonald House special.

“I always tell people, ‘if you have to be away from home, this is a good place to be,’” she said. “When we get to go home for little breaks, I miss it here. I miss all of the bright colors and all of the little things that the staff provides for us. Most of all, I miss the support of the other families. They are always so comforting and really understand what you are going through.”
     
Carey wasn’t the only person in her family moved by her time at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.

“My sister came to visit us when we first arrived and she was so touched by the hospitality and kindness she saw here that she went home and signed up to be a volunteer at her local Ronald McDonald House. She has already cooked two dinners for the families there,” she said. “On top of that, my cousin’s children have started setting up a lemonade stand on the weekends and donating the profits to the House here in Memphis.”

“If this experience has taught me anything, it’s that there is still a lot of goodness left in this world,” she said.
 

Posted by John Parie at Monday, June 27, 2016 | 0 comments
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Mom Finds Camaraderie at Ronald McDonald House

While some moms may be enjoying breakfast in bed, lunch at their favorite restaurant, or a spa day, this Mother’s Day, there are many moms, like Corren, that will be spending their special day at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. For these strong and courageous moms, Ronald McDonald House of Memphis is exactly where they need to be as they help their children fight for their lives against a monster -- cancer. 

Hadlee, who dreams of being the tooth fairy one day, was diagnosed with Leukemia after a routine visit to the doctor in September 2015. Corren made the decision to travel to Memphis where she knew her daughter would receive the best care. But little did Corren know, she was also going to receive the best care, for herself, at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.  

“I love the camaraderie here at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. It’s comforting to know that at Ronald McDonald House, not only is Hadlee being taken care of, but so am I - - by the staff, volunteers, and other families,” says Corren. 

There’s not a day that goes by that you won’t find Corren in the kitchen, baking some cookies or stirring up her famous gumbo.  

“I love cooking and baking and making this home feel like my home,” says Corren. 

Hadlee celebrated her 5th birthday at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. Like most little girls, she loves the color pink and she loves for her mom to push her as high as she can on the swing. Hadlee loves when her big sister has a break from school and is able to come stay with her at Ronald McDonald House.   

“I’m thankful every day that we have a place like Ronald McDonald House to come home to at the end of the day,” Corren said.

Posted by John Parie at Thursday, April 28, 2016 | 0 comments
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