AUSTIN (KXAN) - Workers have put the final touches on the new Ronald McDonald Family Room, now open at St. David's Medical Center.
The 1,300-square-foot space boasts a kitchen area with snacks to be provided by the hospital, an office, a living area with a flat screen TV and four bedrooms.
The ever-growing Central Texas region means community charities like Ronald McDonald House are having to get creative to serve their clients.
Instead of building a new facility for parents and family of sick kids, a new home-style "family room" is set to open inside one local medical center.
Often parents who have babies inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. David's Medical Center have no place to go to get away from that stress.
Typically, a Ronald McDonald House will be located near a hospital, and Austin's facility near Dell Children Medical Center is no exception.
But in this growing region, there's often little or no room. Especially during the busy summer season, occupancy can exceed 80 percent, said Derrick Lesnau, director of programs at the charity's Austin facility. So transforming the unused space at St. David's eases that strain.
Now that the Family Room has opened, it will need 30 volunteers to staff it daily. The charity is looking for a six-month commitment from each volunteer.
It will be the largest of three Family Rooms at area hospitals, with other local medical centers interested in joining the program.
Anyone interested in volunteering for Ronald McDonald House can check out the information online.