2014 Annual Report
Keeping Families Close
Several months ago, my baby girl, Genevieve, woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air. I rushed her to the ER near our home in Portland, Oregon. Tests and x-rays revealed that Genevieve’s heart was failing. She needed specialty treatment 660 miles away in Palo Alto, California.
Genevieve was immediately transported to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and placed on an artificial heart to keep blood pumping through her system. I kept vigil by her bedside, holding her hand, trying to keep her magnificent smile glowing through the pain. For nearly a week, Genevieve and I were all alone. Luckily, a room opened up at the Ronald McDonald House right next to the hospital. This meant my husband and five other children could temporarily relocate to be with us. Now we could help Genevieve get better together.
Beyond simply a place to sleep, the Ronald McDonald House gave us connections. At the House we connected with other families going through similar heartache, frustration and fear. We found solace and relaxation in home-cooked meals that are prepared every night by caring volunteers. We were afforded the time, free of any other distractions, to be at the hospital to give Genevieve as many hugs, kisses and “I love you’s” as we could.
Because of the connections made at the House, I felt like the pieces slowly came back together, and Genevieve received her new heart and healed enough for us to return home as a family. --Mona Santoya
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children. To impact the lives of more children around the world, we are strategically expanding in existing and new service areas where our care and compassion are needed most.
We are opening new Ronald McDonald Houses—and renovating or relocating existing Houses—so that more families with critically ill or injured children can stay together and heal together. In 2013, we opened a total of 15 new Ronald McDonald Houses in the U.S. and internationally, including Costa Rica’s first House. Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are also expanding rapidly. We opened 27 new Family Rooms in 2013, including the recent openings of programs in Australia, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. These dedicated spaces within hospitals will allow more parents to be there for their children, to hug and comfort them, while remaining in open communication with hospital staff, ensuring children receive the best care possible. The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, much like the Houses, offer caregivers a safe and quiet space to rest and decompress from the stress and tension of the hospital and the demands of caring for a critically ill child. We are also increasing our ability to deliver medical, dental and health education services through our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs, currently operating in nine countries and regions, with two new programs added in the last year.
New Chapters will soon launch in India, Fiji, Jordan, Pakistan and Trinidad and Tobago with culturally relevant programs created to address the critical needs of children and families in each of these countries
Over the Next Three Years, RMHC Plans To:
- Open 44 new Houses
- Add nearly 2,500 more bedrooms to existing Houses through renovation or relocation
- Increase the number of Family Rooms by one-third, adding 84 new programs
- Launch 11 new Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs
This additional capacity will allow us to serve an additional 1 million children and families by 2016.[+] Click to expand
As we continue to expand and improve programs and our support for the families and children we serve, we rely on our core values to guide us:
- Focusing on the critical needs of children
- Celebrating the diversity of our people and our programs
- Valuing our heritage
- Operating with accountability and transparency
With these values in mind, RMHC is laying the groundwork to strengthen our network through strategic board investments in RMHC core programs: an Energy Management Program, property reserve studies and Impact Research.
The Energy Management Program will focus on providing resources to Chapters so as a system we can continue to improve our stewardship of both natural and financial resources. By managing our energy costs, we will be able to deliver our programs more efficiently and effectively, and we will, then, be able to direct more funding straight to the services our families and children rely on.
In addition, RMHC has completed property reserve studies on nearly every RMH program, which provide an assessment of the bricks and mortar of the Houses and associated investment plans, including a 30-year projection on the replacement and refurbishment of all building components and equipment.
Both the property reserve studies and the Energy Management Program will aid Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapters to be even better stewards of their resources, allowing the system to be strategic and efficient with our budgets and our donors’ investments. As we hold to the values of stewardship and operational accountability, we strengthen our ability to focus on the critical needs of the children and families.
The Impact Research deepens our understanding of the power of the Ronald McDonald House program and its services. We know—through the testimonials of the families we serve—that the House program has a meaningful impact, but now with research conducted around the globe, we have evidence that confirms that RMHC plays a critical role in enabling the family-centered care that seriously ill children need to heal. By studying the impact of our services, we are gaining insight into how important our donors’ investment in our mission and our core programs is to continue reaching more children and their families.
A Letter from Sheila Musolino
President and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities
"Thank you for making a difference in the lives of families around the world."View the Letter
A Letter from Steve Ramirez
Chairman of the Board, Ronald McDonald House Charities
"Because of your generous support, this past year we had the privilege of serving nearly 5.7 million families around the world."View the Letter