Nonprofit organization Advocates for Special People in Arlington brought aluminum soda pop tabs by the hundreds to the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, 1001 8th Ave.

Members of the nonprofit organization enjoyed ice popsicles from Frios Gourmet Pops while Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth workers collected the soda pop tabs, which they sell for cash for between 40 and 70 cents per pound, said Amy Norris, the community engagement manager at the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth.

“It seems like a small thing, but it adds up. It’s so perfect because not everyone wants to donate a big check or is able to, or may not be able to volunteer on a regular basis,” Norris said. “And so this is truly something that is for everybody.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, which was founded in Fort Worth in 1981, offers a “home-like” place to stay for Cook Children’s patients and their families. 

Amenities like play rooms, a kitchen, 57 individual rooms, a playground and artwork are meant to create a sense of community among families staying at the House, said Caroline Watts, the communications manager at the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth.

The Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth is 447 steps away from the front door of Cook Children’s Medical Center, providing easy access to and from the two buildings.

Outside of amenities, the House provides a space for families of patients to interact with each other and help each other build relationships in hard times, Watts said.

Residents of the House are required to have a reference from a social worker and must stay a minimum of three days because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Watts said. But, there are no age restrictions or minimum distance requirements for residents.

“We couldn’t allow families that were within 30 miles of Fort Worth to stay here. And we were like, ‘That’s so silly. We don’t need to do that anymore,’” Watts said. “Now, all families can come and stay no matter how close they live. Being 100 steps away versus 15 minutes can make all the world when your kid is sick.”

Ultimately, Watts said the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth is a place where they are “truly a home like community and keeping families close.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...