The Ronald McDonald House in Chicago was vandalized during looting early Monday morning while families and their sick children huddled inside, the charity said Tuesday.
The Ronald McDonald House in the Streeterville neighborhood of the city’s Near North Side provides support for sick children and their families while the child receives medical treatment at nearby Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The charity said more than 30 families and their sick children were sleeping inside when the looters, who had taken over downtown, ransacking stores and vandalizing properties, started attacking the building.
“[We were] very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk, so the staff was frightened,” Lisa Mitchell, of Ronald McDonald House Charities, told ABC 7 Chicago.
“They are already in a really, really difficult spot,” she said of the families. “Having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital even though we are five blocks away because of safety concerns is just doubling the strain.”
The building was placed on lockdown during the commotion, CBS Chicago reported. Several windows on the front of the building were smashed, and the front door had to be boarded up. No damage was caused to the inside of the house and no one was injured.
The charity said it will remain open despite the potential dangers.
“We’re here for families at all times — whether there’s a pandemic or civil unrest, we need to make sure that we are here allowing families to get the rest they need while they have a child in the hospital seeking care, and so it’s so important that anything that might be going on outside, we maintain our care for families,” Ms. Mitchell said.
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