DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The “Give a Little Love” campaign kicks off on Sept. 2, providing an opportunity for the Miami Valley to help support Ronald McDonald House Charities in Dayton.

What exactly is a Ronald McDonald House? Emily Gibbs, co-host of Living Dayton, spent a day there learning more about their mission.

Across the street from Dayton Children’s Hospital sits The Ronald McDonald House.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities has been in this community for over 40 years. We provide community, comfort and hope for families with sick or injured children,” said Amanda Burks, development director at Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton.

This provides a tranquil place for families to stay close by while their children are hospitalized.

“The Ronald McDonald House families are able to stay in one of our 14 guest rooms as long as they need to,” Burks said . “They come through a referral with one of our seven medical partners that we work with in this community and we provide that space for families to sleep and stay over-night.”

All it takes is one step inside Dayton’s Ronald McDonald House and you’ll be at ease.

“We want families as they walk through our front doors to have a very different experience than when they walk into treatment, whatever that facility may be,” Burks said. “By design, this house is quieter, it’s more still. It’s a calmer space, away from beeps and lights of a hospital setting.”

No matter if families come from near or far, it’s a home away from home – a convenient place to unwind, making it one less thing to stress about.

“The guest rooms are small but mighty … two twin beds, a pull-out for additional family members. We can put rollaway cribs in there. Each of these rooms has their own private bathroom – very accommodating,” Burks said.

There’s a kitchen with snacks, hot meals, a family room, even a playroom creating a sense of community.

“There’s plenty of space here for kids to play, kids to be kids,” Burks said. “We are not a hotel, as we like to say, we strongly encourage running around, playing, enjoying themselves, finding normalcy in their life.”

And one of the best parts, finances don’t come into play here.

“We do not charge families for their time here,” Burks said. “We do have a suggested donation of $15 a night for families. Just a donation – just suggested. No matter a family’s ability to pay, no one is turned away at our door.”

This is where your help is needed.

“We’ve had families stay one night, we’ve had families stay 299 nights. Whatever the family needs,” Burkes said. “The demand for our services and all of the amenities is greater than ever right now. It means that it’s much more important to receive support from our community. We are happy to accept them because they keep our programs running.”

So, Give a Little Love. It’s more than just a monetary donation. It’s an act of kindness.

It’s your opportunity to help families feel comforted and supported and provides a sense of normalcy through tough times.

“We rely very heavily on our community for support for keeping our lights on, keeping our doors open and keeping our programs running,” Burks said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities also offers two rooms for families to unwind. One is at Dayton Children’s, the other is Emmett’s place in Miami Valley Hospital.