Common area at a Ronald McDonald House program, fireplace, rug, and three leather sofas organized around them, left to right in background, a lamp, grand staircase leading upward, glass doors leading to exterior deck with rocking chair

Ronald McDonald House

Our Houses are filled with more than help, they’re filled with hope.

We believe that “home” is more than four walls and a roof over your head. That’s why every Ronald McDonald House is a safe haven that provides all the comforts of home, plus the compassion and hospitality of staff, volunteers, and other families — all just steps away from the hospital.

An RMHC family, the Acostas, mom and dad kissing their laughing child in glasses, image fades into a blue panel with three floating, transparent heart symbols

Helping families physically, economically, and emotionally during their health care journey.

A Ronald McDonald House program helps reduces stress and financial burden for families when they must travel far from home to access medical care for their child.

Research shows that patients whose families stayed at the Ronald McDonald House are the sickest, traveled the farthest distances, and spent the longest time in the hospital.

  • Family proximity to the hospital provides important psychological benefits
  • Parent’s get better sleep at a Ronald McDonald House
  • Families who stay in a Ronald McDonald House report more positive hospital experiences and a greater ability to participate in their child’s care
RMHC family in matching polka-dotted, pink dresses, a toddler sitting in a miniature Adirondack chair holding infant sibling in treatment

“Through it all, the Ronald McDonald House helped keep our whole family balanced."

These are the heartfelt words of a mom, Liz Herrick, and they mean everything to us. Our Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child. Providing spaces for families to stay together, grow stronger and all be part of the solution for the sick child is what we are all about.

“Through it all, the Ronald McDonald House helped keep our whole family balanced."

These are the heartfelt words of a mom, Liz Herrick, and they mean everything to us. Our Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child. Providing spaces for families to stay together, grow stronger and all be part of the solution for the sick child is what we are all about.

RMHC family in matching polka-dotted, pink dresses, a toddler sitting in a miniature Adirondack chair holding infant sibling in treatment
An RMHC family, dad holding his sick child wearing a pink cap and hospital gown and using a breathing tube

Facing the weight of illness together

Families are stronger when they are together. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents can be more rested, which enables them to better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. They can also focus on the health of their child, rather than grocery shopping, cleaning, or cooking meals.

Ronald McDonald House services:

Meals

Comforting meals

Bedroom Icon

Quality sleep

Play Room

Playtime for children

In many Houses, additional resources are also available:

  • Accredited education programs
  • Recreational activities
  • Non-clinical support services such as children’s art therapy and music programs, and gardens so families can grow vegetables and herbs food like they do at home 
  • Sibling support services
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • 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.

    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 programs in order to accommodate room demand. This is determined on a local basis.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.

  • Generous supporters like you help fund Ronald McDonald House programs. The majority of our programming funds come from individuals, organizations and businesses.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 programs in your community to find out if there are other policies or requirements.

  • 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.

  • You can support a House or RMHC in a number of ways, and we could not operate Ronald McDonald House programs without donations from individuals and groups. Click here to learn more about getting involved with RMHC.

Learn more about our local programs and how you can enable families to stay close to the care and resources they need.

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