Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your questions
We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. If you can’t find your question answered under the programs below, contact us.
Ronald McDonald HouseHow can I stay at a Ronald McDonald House?
Contact the social service department at the hospital where your child will receive treatment. They will place your name on the waiting list for the day that you intend to arrive. Because each child's treatment is unique, a family’s stay at the House is unpredictable. Therefore, most local RMHC Chapters are unable to confirm room reservations for your stay prior to your arrival.Who owns and operates Ronald McDonald Houses?
In general, Ronald McDonald House programs offer rooms for families of pediatric patients 21 years old and younger. Due to the demand for rooms, some Houses accommodate families of patients up to 18 only. For most Houses, families may stay as long as their child remains in active treatment, although some Houses may establish a maximum length of stay at a Ronald McDonald House in order to accommodate room demand. This is determined on a local basis.
Each House is owned and operated by a local RMHC Chapter. The Chapter is governed by a local Board of Directors who are responsible for program development and operations.How are Ronald McDonald Houses funded?
Generous supporters like you help fund Ronald McDonald Houses. The majority of our programming funds come from individuals, organizations and businesses.Doesn't McDonald's fund Ronald McDonald Houses?
Local McDonald's restaurant owner/operators generously fund portions of the annual operating costs of the Houses. However, the majority of the annual operating income comes from individual and other corporate donors.How much does it cost to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?
The actual cost to operate a room varies between $50 and $100 a night. Families either stay at no cost or are asked to make a donation up to $25 per day, depending on the house. However, payment is NEVER expected for those who cannot afford it. The difference is made up through donations. Thanks to your contributions, it is a global RMHC policy that a family never be turned away because of their ability to pay.Who is eligible to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?
The families of children, from birth through 21 years of age (or 18, depending on the House), who are being treated at nearby hospitals and medical facilities, are eligible. The patient is also eligible to stay with the family if he/she is being treated on an outpatient basis. Please contact the Ronald McDonald House in your community to find out if there are other policies or requirements.How long do families usually stay at a Ronald McDonald House?
Stays can be as short as one night or as long as several months, and sometimes extend to a year or more, depending on the child's illness and treatment.How can I support a Ronald McDonald House?
You can support a House or RMHC in a number of ways, and we could not operate Ronald McDonald Houses without donations from individuals and groups. Click here to learn more about getting involved with RMHC.
Ronald McDonald Care MobileWhat is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program?
The 40-foot vehicles travel directly into areas where children are medically underserved, offering high-quality medical, dental or health education through relationships with local healthcare organizations and clinical service providers.What services does a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provide?
Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide a number of services based on the needs of the community, including:
- Primary care, well-child visits and developmental screening
- Diagnostic, preventive and restorative dental care
- Oral hygiene education
- Asthma treatment and self-management education
- Pulmonary function testing
- Vision, hearing and lead screening
- School and sports physicals
- Prenatal care for pregnant teens
- Childhood health promotion and injury prevention education
- Nutrition counseling
- Pediatric specialty care, such as oncology, cardiology and otolaryngology
- Mental health assessment and referral
- Blood collection
- Social service resource referral
- Health education
- Care for special needs children
Staffing varies based on the scope of services provided but might include a pediatrician, a pediatric nurse, a dental hygienist, a dentist and a program manager. Other staff members might include a social worker and other pediatric specialists. In most cases, these staff members are full- or part-time workers hired by local health-care organizations. Most Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles choose to supplement their staff with a rotating base of volunteers and medical, dental and nursing students. In an effort to provide continuity of care, however, there is always a core staff that serves the community on a regular basis. The rotating staff complements the core staff.Where do Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles operate?
Through relationships with clinical service providers, Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles currently operate in nine countries in Argentina, Canada, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and the U.S. To find out if there is a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in your area, contact your local RMHC organization.Do Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles only treat children?
Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide health care and health education services to children from birth to 21 years old.Does the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program replace regular visits to a doctor or dentist?
Services provided on a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are not meant to replace regular visits to a doctor or a dentist. Rather, they provide an entry point into a regular pattern of health care for vulnerable children, with the goal of connecting the child and his or her family to a medical or dental home. In some cases, we understand that a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will need to be the medical or dental “home” for the child because of a severe lack of health care providers in the community or the limited number of providers that will accept children with Medicaid. However, this type of situation has been more of the exception than the rule.Who operates the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in each local area?
Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are operated through relationships with carefully selected clinical service providers.What type of organization qualifies as the “healthcare organization” or “clinical service provider” for the local program?
RMHC looks for healthcare partners who have 501(c)(3) status and a mission that complements that of RMHC. To date, the healthcare organizations or clinical service providers have been community hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, county hospitals, outpatient clinics and independent groups of physicians and dentists.Do children or their families have to pay for health care services provided by Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?
All services offered on Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are provided in a cost effective manner to children and their families. No child is denied care based on ability to pay. However, reimbursement from a third party, such as Medicaid, is sought if applicable, as is sliding-scale payment that complements the pay schedule already in place at the base of operations.How do I get care from a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?
Search for a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in your community, then contact the program manager for more information regarding appointment scheduling.
Ronald McDonald Family RoomWho can use a Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Any family with a child receiving treatment in a hospital is eligible to use Ronald McDonald Family Room facilities. Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are located in close proximity to the pediatric services provided in hospitals.Is it possible to spend the night in a Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Ask the registration desk at the hospital where your child will receive treatment about the specific services (including overnight stays) available at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in their hospital.What services does a Ronald McDonald Family Room provide?
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide a welcoming, homelike environment for families, just steps away from their child in the hospital. Each Family Room provides various services depending on many factors, including the size of the space available within the hospital, the needs of the families, and the number of families served. Minimally, a Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a seating area to relax and a space to prepare a snack, and is hosted by RMHC volunteers or staff.Additional Services provided by Ronald McDonald Family Rooms might include:
- A kitchen area that includes a stove or microwave
- Shower facilities
- Sleeping rooms for naps or overnight accommodations
- Laundry facilities, including washers, dryers and laundry detergent
- Internet access
- Reference books
- A quiet room
Who operates Ronald McDonald Family Rooms?
Each Ronald McDonald Family Room is operated by its local RMHC Chapter and responsible to its own board of directors. RMHC volunteers and/or staff provide hospitality to families in the space during operating hours.How can I support the Ronald McDonald Family Room in my community?
Each Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you want to donate canned goods or laundry detergent, volunteer to staff the check-in desk, or make a cash donation, there are many ways you can help. Contact your local RMHC Chapter to find out how you can help a Ronald McDonald Family Room in your area.
RMHC U.S. ScholarshipsWho is eligible?
To apply for a RMHC U.S. Scholarship, a student must:
- Be a high school senior
- Be under 21 years old
- Be eligible to attend a two- or four-year college or university with a full course of study
- Be a legal U.S. resident
- Reside in a participating local RMHC Chapter's geographic area
- Submit a complete application and all required documentation by the deadline
Eligible students can apply online. If you have questions about how to apply and/or about your application, please contact ISTS via email at RMHC@applyISTS.com or toll free 866-664-0236. You can also find out more information about the actual application process.
How are scholarship recipients selected?
Participating Chapters select their respective scholarship recipients. Local RMHC Chapters convene Review and Selection Committees made up of RMHC, McDonald's representatives, educators and community leaders to select winners on the basis of the following criteria:
- Community involvement and leadership potential as demonstrated by the student's essay-questions and online letters of recommendation
- Academic achievement as demonstrated through the applicant's grade point average and standardized test scores
- Financial need as demonstrated through the student's disclosure of family income, anticipated educational expenses and Student Aid Reports (Results from FAFSA)
Scholarship funds will be disbursed directly to the school designated by the recipient once the local RMHC Chapter receives verification of enrollment. RMHC scholarship funds cannot be paid to individual recipients irrespective of circumstances that may develop after their selection. Scholarship recipients must enroll and attend school during the academic year following their graduation. Local RMHC Chapters may consider and approve exceptions to this requirement at their discretion. However, the Chapters must distribute funding to students entering their freshman year. A recipient's failure to comply with any of the above requirements in a timely manner may result in forfeiture of the scholarship.
How much are the scholarships?
Scholarship amounts vary and are at the discretion of participating RMHC Chapters and Board of Directors.
What is the RMHC Global Grants Program?
Through the RMHC Global Grants Program, RMHC works with other non-profit organizations around the world that are making an immediate, positive impact on children. Grants to these organizations extend the reach of RMHC and quickly move donation dollars to communities around the world with the most need. Over the past 25 years, RMHC has awarded more than $100 million in funding through its Global Grants Program to nonprofits to extend its reach and impact on children’s health and well-being worldwide.
What’s the RMHC Global Grants Program main focus?
Beginning in 2017 and throughout 2020, the RMHC Global Grants Program will focus on oral health needs of children ages 0 to 6 in the U.S., and on reducing maternal and child mortality in the first six months of life in Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
Who would RMHC Global partner with for its RMHC Global Grant Program and work in the U.S.?
RMHC Global will be continuing its relationship with Oral Health America (OHA) with a three-year grant focused on the pediatric oral health needs of the youngest and most vulnerable population of children aged 0 to 6.
Who would RMHC Global partner with for its RMHC Global Grant Program and work outside of the U.S.?
RMHC Global has a history of working with a number of impressive organizations that address the area of maternal and child health. After a careful needs assessment and review of its grants program, in 2017 RMHC will be accepting proposals from a select group of previous grantees. These proposals will be submitted by invitation only.
Who can apply for an RMHC Global Grant?
Only those specific nonprofit organizations that are invited directly by RMHC Global will be able to submit their proposals. For all other organizations, outside of this group, the 2017-2020 RMHC Global Grants Program grant cycle is closed.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
One Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
WHAT WE DO
Keeping families close to each other and the care they need.
The Acosta FamilyX
RMHC Gave Us Peace Of Mind
To Graciela and Jose Acosta, RMHC is nothing short of a blessing. The family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital for a month when their son, Santiago was a very sick infant. As soon as they arrived, a burden was lifted. “When we came to the door something cha... Read more about The Acosta Family
The Cepkauskas FamilyX
When “it happens to you,” RMHC is there to help
Like many young students in Orland Park, Ill., Laurie Cepkauskas collected pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in town. And like her peers, she didn’t do it because she knew exactly what the charity was doing, but because that’s just what students did. “I really didn’t know anything about it exc... Read more about The Cepkauskas Family
The Sharper FamilyX
RMHC has been there for us through the years
My family’s first experience with the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake was when my son Paris was three years old. After months of trying to figure out why Paris was so ill, we learned that he had restrictive cardio myopathy. The doctors sent us to see heart specialists at Duke Children's... Read more about The Sharper Family
The Johnson FamilyX
It's hard to put into words what RMHC has meant to us
When Noelle Johnson is asked about her son Jordan’s health, she can rattle off the dates of his three heart surgeries, his seven-month stay in the hospital as a newborn, when he got a tracheotomy tube inserted to help him breathe and the nights she’s spent by her 12-year-old’s side every time he’s c... Read more about The Johnson Family
The Wehr FamilyX
RMHC helped us cope while our child was hospitalized
I knew about RMHC before our daughter Autumn was hospitalized, but I had no idea what it would mean to us to be able to stay at the House. I had no idea just how much thought and effort staff and volunteers put into making life easier for families with sick children. Our eleven-month-old daughter Au... Read more about The Wehr Family