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Fundraiser set to help families of hospitalized children

Nonprofit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas and Smith’s Food &Drug Stores have teamed up to assist families with children facing an illness.

Ronald McDonald House is pushing forward with its 20th annual food drive, and volunteers will set up at Smith’s in Pahrump and in neighboring Clark County on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will be on-site at the 601 S. Highway 160 Smith’s store to collect food, gift cards and cash donations.

Carolyn Kresser, marketing coordinator at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas, said the organization has also expanded the ways people can give, as some may not be comfortable going to the grocery store due to the pandemic.

Some of these alternative giving opportunities include purchasing a Smith’s gift card, making an online donation to the nonprofit or buying a few items on the “Wish List.”

For more on those options, head to https://rmhlv.org/news-events/rmhc-fundraisers/food-drive/

Nye County families

The Ronald McDonald Charities of Greater Las Vegas provides shelter and transportation for families that have a child receiving medical treatment at a Las Vegas hospital. Families who live more than 30 miles away can stay at what’s named the Ronald McDonald House in Las Vegas during a child’s treatment.

“Since 2013, we have had 92 families from Nye County/Pahrump stay with us, for a total of 860 nights,” Kresser said.

While families stay at the House, they are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner, with much of the supplies coming from the organization’s annual food drive, Kessler noted.

In addition to the House, the Las Vegas nonprofit also has its Family Room at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, “a mini-version of our House on-site of the neonatal intensive care unit at Sunrise,” Kresser said.

“Any family members with children at the hospital are allowed to use the Family Room as a quiet place of respite and relaxation while they’re at the hospital,” she added.

Fundraising for the House

In 2020, Kresser said the organization collected over five tons of food and household supplies and $11,500 in cash and gift card donations. No volunteers were available in Pahrump in 2020, so there was no event.

However, in 2019, $712.70 in cash donations and gift cards was collected in Pahrump, the second highest out of 38 Smith’s stores in the area, which includes Clark County.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas collects the bulk of its donations through local fundraising and private donations, according to its website. McDonald’s is the nonprofit’s largest corporate donor.

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