When I was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto in 2016, I was excited to be joining an organization whose main focus is to keep families of seriously ill children together and close to the care they need. At the most difficult of times, a hug from a loved one can be a great comfort for a child facing a life-threatening diagnosis.

Last year alone, RMHC Toronto supported more than 4,700 families from throughout Ontario, across Canada and around the world. We did this through our 81-family House in downtown Toronto and our seven in-hospital Family Rooms across the Greater Toronto Area and in Sudbury.

RMHC Toronto provides more than just a place to stay. Our goal is to provide families with programs and services that give them a sense of normalcy when little else in their lives is normal. We aim to ease their burdens. And it was with that in mind that we developed and launched our Virtual Front Desk app last year.

The app serves as an innovative supplement to the face-to-face information that families receive at our Front Desk. It responds to a request from families for more and better real-time information about the support and services available to them at the House and the amenities and resources available to them in the neighbourhood and broader Toronto community.

Virtual Front Desk is just one example of how we are leveraging digital technology to lessen the burden on families, giving them more time to be together. This past August, it received the top international award for impact and innovation at the RMHC Global Conference in Chicago.

We are grateful to Long View Systems for their generous support of RMHC Toronto through the Activate Digital 2019 Conference and would invite you to visit our on-site booth on February 28 in Mississauga. Here is the link to register for the conference.