From Tools for Today and Tomorrow to RedTreehouse.org: Supporting Families for 15 Years

What is RedTreehouse.org?

RedTreehouse.org is one of the ways the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland supports families. This online family resource link is free to use and offers a comprehensive directory of organizations, an events calendar, tools and helpful guides on a wide range of topics affecting families. All of these resources are searchable by Condition/Issue, Service Category, Location, Age Group and Key Word. An interactive map allows users to easily view what’s in their local community, and people can also submit events, organizations, suggested updates and stories. All submissions are reviewed for accuracy and relevance before posting, and site content is continually updated by our team and community partners to ensure timeliness.

We needed to learn about things like early intervention, physical and occupational therapy, government benefits, special education, long term care… All of these things families can find on Red Treehouse.
— Helen Rapp, Esq., Special Needs Parent, RTh Contributor

The History

Red Treehouse  grew out of the Tools for Today and Tomorrow program, which was a collaborative effort of 22 hospitals, universities and social service organizations that had come together in 2003 to help families access needed information, resources and support.  By 2006 the consortium had held numerous family focus groups and two successful conferences covering medical and educational advocacy, family relationships, financial tools and legal issues presented by experts in the fields of medicine, education, law, finance, psychology and social work. That same year, the program expanded and became a full-time program of the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. In 2007 the first Tools for Today and Tomorrow website was launched. In 2011, through a partnership with Ohio Family and Children First, the site branched out from Northeast Ohio, becoming a broader statewide resource known as Red Treehouse. Since then, the site has continued to grow and new features, original content and informational webinars have been added.

Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A. is an attorney, mediator, and author.

Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A. is an attorney, mediator, and author.

Webinars, Guides and More

A series of live webinars, made possible by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation, were offered free of charge in 2018 and 2019 and are are available for playback on demand. Topics were based on user suggestions and presented by experts in their fields.

The webinar, How to Find Confidence in Conflict, with Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A., Director of the American Negotiation Institute, garnered such interest that a follow-up podcast was recorded to discuss attendee inquiries. Red Treehouse and Mr. Christian teamed up again for a second webinar on Using Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict, a powerful framework for handling difficult conversations in any setting.

Webinars are available at www.redtreehouse.org/webinars.

Thanks so much for making this presentation available. I will be using these principles on a regular basis both in my volunteer work and my personal life.
— Webinar attendee

The events calendar on Red Treehouse is a great place to find local support groups, workshops, conferences and recreational activities tailored to a host of different conditions and needs. The vast majority of events listed are free to attend. In addition to webinars and events, there are over 3000 organizations in the Red Treehouse directory, and close to 1000 tools and guides. Guides provide information on topics as diverse as special education, opioid addiction, summer camps and service animals, and can be browsed at www.redtreehouse.org/guides or easily searched for by topic or keyword.

The guide on 504 Plans pointed me to all the information I needed to request appropriate school accommodations for my son.
— Red Treehouse user

Red Treehouse listings are unpaid; sales pitches, fundraisers, unproven medical claims and advertorials are not accepted. This helps ensure that information found on the site is accurate and unbiased. A user account is not required, but those who sign up are able to save their search criteria and subscribe to our free e-newsletter. We encourage organizations to submit profiles and events for inclusion in our directory and welcome user feedback. We also post updates and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages at @RedTreehouseOH.

Collaboration Continues: New Efforts Underway in 2019

Through a new collaboration with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Red Treehouse is also helping to connect youth to resources through the website, Hey I’m Here. This new youth-led community is engaged in changing the conversation when it comes to their mental wellness and provides a safe digital space to share stories, offer encouragement, and to help others find resources available to them in Ohio.

Through a Remarkable Impact Grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities, made possible by AbbVie, RedTreehouse.org will also be expanding to selected counties in Western Pennsylvania and North Central West Virginia in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown.

Thank you to all of our partners, users, and contributors for helping RedTreehouse.org continue to support the well-being of families and children.

Jeanine Carroll