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Beacon Shines Light
On Comfort and Hope

For the past 50 years, RMHC has been committed to bringing comfort and support to families with children who are ill or injured. This includes program designs and services that address the unique needs of the families we serve. One example to shine a light on is the Beacon of Hope in Arkansas.

For many children, a night light provides a sense of security at bedtime. For children receiving treatment in the hospital, this need is amplified while they are sleeping in a new place. It turns out parents and caretakers also benefit from a guiding light during their darkest moments.

When RMHC Arkansas was remodeling their House, they asked social workers, doctors, nurses and RMHC families, “What would make a parent not want to stay in the Ronald McDonald House?” Overwhelmingly, the response was “fear of being away from their child.”

Literally triggering a lightbulb moment!

The new House was adorned with a Beacon of Hope - a nightlight atop the roof. This light is visible from the children's hospital rooms and welcomes parents/caregivers as they arrive at the House. Both the children and the parents/caregivers are comforted by this reminder that they are not alone.

Take 12-year-old Trevar and his family. When Trevar was being treated for a brain tumor, he needed emergency care in Little Rock. His mother feared leaving his side, in a new city. “The Beacon of Hope brought an amazing sense of relief and comfort,” Trevar’s mom shared, knowing they had a supportive community nearby.

This simple insight encouraged several RMHC Chapters to incorporate special light features into their House designs. The newest House in Shreveport Louisiana will even add a control button to their Beacon of Hope so parents can communicate with their children in the hospital using colored lights. These guiding lights are just one more way to RMHC helps reduce stress for all family members when their child is sick.

Bookmark rmhc.org/Our History for monthly stories of RMHC impact since 1974.