4-year-old Sam of Athens, Ohio has been staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House with his grandma while his mom stays mostly bedside at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where his 5-year-old sister Is admitted.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (RMHC) – A new specialty license plate has just been created to help raise awareness and funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities across Ohio.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering the plates as of today, Thursday, August. 5, 2021. The proceeds from the sale of the license plate will be split among the RMHC Chapters across the state, including RMHC of Central Ohio.
RMHC of Central Ohio serves families of children with complex and life-changing medical diagnoses and injuries. Families of hospitalized children can stay at the House across from Nationwide Children’s Hospital whether they offer a donation toward their stay or not. The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at The Behavioral Health Pavilion at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital also provide a space for families to rest and regroup without leaving the hospital.
“We are here to help families going through a difficult time while their child is in the hospital. By purchasing this organizational plate, Ohioians can help ease their journey.” said Dee Anders, CEO of RMHC of Central Ohio. “We are looking forward to seeing the House with a heart plate all over the state!”
In 2019, RMHC of Central Ohio approached Former District 26 State Rep. and current Franklin County Commissioner (D) Erica Crawley, about introducing a bill for to propose adding an RMHC license plate. Her bill passed through committees and eventually reached the governor’s desk in October 2020. Then, the Columbus chapter spearheaded a campaign to collect petitions necessary for the BMV to move forward with production. “Ronald McDonald House is a critical resource to families during their most challenging times, for those from Franklin County and across the globe,” said Commissioner Crawley. “I was proud to introduce the legislation to create an RMHC license plate that would increase awareness and generate new resources to further assist families in their times of need.”
Crawley’s proposal was eventually added to Senate Bill 163, sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Kunze, R-District 16. The bill was to create a new group of specialty plates, including one for RMHC. Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law in October of 2020.
“I know many times that I walk up in a parking lot or some place and just notice some of the different things on the license plates,” said Gov. DeWine. “It’s a great way to publicize and it’s a great way to get the public’s attention about something that’s very, very important.”
“This will continue to bring awareness to the important services local Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide to families in need of support so that they can be strong for their children receiving medical care,” said Sen. Kunze.
RMHC supporters can now purchase the plate for $35 in-person at the BMV or through OPLATES online. Of this, $25 will go to RMHC. Customers who agree to let the BMV give their contact information to RMHC, will allow RMHC of Central Ohio to distribute funds to the customer’s local chapter. The remaining $10 is a service fee to the BMV for processing purposes.