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Construction Begins on Ronald McDonald House Renovation - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Construction Begins on Ronald McDonald House Renovation

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The Ronald McDonald House The Ronald McDonald House

A nonprofit that takes care of families in need is getting its own dose of TLC. Monday the Ronald McDonald House in Charlottesville kicked off a million-dollar renovation project. 

Scaffolding is the first step in a renovation project that should last about eight months, and it's the first step toward making the families there even more comfortable in their temporary home. 

Enga Knicely went into pre-term labor with twins at just 25 weeks. Her daughter Piper weighed just 1 pound, 14 ounces when she was born, and her son Jace, only 1 pound, 10 ounces. 

"There were so many fears, things that could happen and go wrong and we knew that we were going to be here for a while," Knicely said. 

But luckily, Knicely knew where she could find a temporary home near the hospital, and a support system to get her through the stressful journey: the Ronald McDonald House. 

"The house has been in existence since 1991 so it's time and we've taken care of thousands of families and so it's gotten a lot of use. It's very careworn at this point," said Rita Ralston, executive director of Ronald McDonald House. 

Soon the haven for families with children in the hospital will have new floors, a fresh coat of paint, private bathrooms for every room, an updated laundry room and a new kitchen space that brings everyone together. 

In two weeks, Knicely and her twins will be headed home. After three months of care and support at the Ronald McDonald house, she's glad not much has changed in the past 20 years, but happy the sanctuary will soon be even more welcoming to families like hers. 

"As wonderful a place as it is now, I can only imagine after the renovations how pleasurable it's going to be to be here," Knicely said. 

For the next couple of months the Ronald McDonald House can only support half as many families as usual. As the kitchen is renovated, the house will especially need the help of restaurants willing to contribute food. To find out how you can help, click here.

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