OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Missouri, looks and feels more like a home thanks to a free renovation from the star of HGTV’s Bargain Mansions, Tamara Day.
Day and 13-year-old Jhayliegh, whose parents are staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City’s Longfellow house while she undergoes leukemia treatment at Children’s Mercy Hospital, revealed the remodeled living room Wednesday by breaking down a wall of boxes separating the space from the main lobby.
“It’s really cool,” Jhayliegh said after seeing the room.
She and her family have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House too many times to count on trips to Kansas City from their home in Garden City, Kansas, over the past eight years. Her eyes quickly focused on two new couches which replaced benches and wooden chairs.
“They look very comfortable and cozy,” Jhayliegh said as she sat on them to confirm they were, in fact, quite cozy.
Day began remodeling the space in March calling it the most meaningful project of her career. She said her goal was to make the living room a place where families wanted to spend time and a place where families would feel loved.
“We’re helping people in the best way we can,” Day said. “As a mom of four, I don’t know how I would feel coming into an institutional space in that moment [while caring for a child in the hospital] now being able to walk into this space that Denise [Cadenas] and I have worked on really means a lot.”
Day’s TV show focuses on renovating mansions in the Kansas City area. She and Cadenas also run a retail store in Prairie Village, Kansas, called Growing Days Home and Design Center. They collaborated with MW Builders and Ethan Allen to do this transformation for free.
“I’m in love with it,” Tami Greenberg, the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City said. “It’s exactly what we wanted and needed which was a space that feels like home that wraps the families with sick kids who we serve with this warm embrace.”
Longfellow is one of three houses Ronald McDonald House operates near Hospital Hill within walking distance to Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Families of sick children traveling to Kansas City for treatment at the hospital can stay at a Ronald McDonald House for free. Greenberg said nearly every room is occupied every night.
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