JOPLIN, Mo. — The Ronald McDonald Family Room at “Mercy Hospital Joplin” is celebrating a bit of a milestone.

Five years ago today, it welcomed its first guest.

The room offers families of pediatric patients up through the age of 21, a place to rest and relax, and still be just minutes away from their loved ones.

Officials say the original intent was to make visitors feel like they’ve left the hospital, even though they really haven’t.

“Since opening up the Family Room program here at Mercy, we’ve had the opportunity to serve over 200 families for almost 1,500 visits while their children were in the hospital,” said Tara Horinek, Assoc. Dir., Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States.

Tara Horinek also wants volunteers and donors through the years to know how much they’re appreciated.

Those interested in learning more about the room, and ways they can help, can find a link here.