Akron Children’s Reinberger Family Center at its Akron campus and the McFamily Respite Center at its Beeghly campus provide families with a “home-away-from-home” setting so they don’t need to decide between expert care or a “mother’s touch.”
“The biggest difference between a respite center and the Ronald McDonald house is immediacy,” said Della Estes-Green, supervisor for the Reinberger Family Center at Akron Children’s. “We have a space for families to stay right now which gives them time to make long-term arrangements for lodging and care, depending on the needs of their child. It’s one less thing for them to worry about.”
Akron Children’s respite centers provide all the creature comforts of home inside the hospital, not far from patient rooms. Here, family members can take a nap, get a shower or snack, relax in a quiet area or meet privately with their doctor, family or friends. The centers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Children’s has 3 respite centers – one in Akron and 2 in Mahoning Valley – that contain useful amenities for families, including a lounge, eating area and sleeping rooms. Families also benefit from the support they receive from other residents, which creates a welcoming atmosphere during an otherwise stressful time.
“Many of our NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] families come back to visit, especially around the holidays, said Estes-Green. “They bring donations to our current families because they are so appreciative of how the center helped them in their time of need. They want to give back and say thank you.”
In the spirit of giving, Akron Children’s respite centers are always in need of toiletries for their families. If you’d like to donate, below is a list of specific items they need:
Reinberger Family Center, Akron:
- Small toothpastes and tooth brushes
- Full mattress pads (thin quilted without stuffing)
- Full, fitted sheets
- Dreft HE laundry detergent
- Individual packs of tea, hot chocolate and coffee
- Individually wrapped snack items that don’t need refrigeration
- Wood-trimmed wall clocks, not digital, for guest rooms
Donated items can be dropped off at volunteer services inside Akron Children’s. Be sure to specify or mark the items for the Reinberger Center.
McFamily Respite Center, Beeghly campus, Boardman:
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Hair brushes and combs
- Shampoo and conditioner
- White, percale pillowcases
- White wash cloths and bath towels
The donation site for these items is the volunteer department at Akron Children’s Beeghly Campus, 6505 Market St. in Boardman.