A Charitable Hand for Children and Families:
The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. It came about because of the experience of Fred Hill (Philadelphia Eagles tight end) and his wife, when their 3 year old daughter, Kim, was diagnosed and then treated for leukemia.
The Hills camped out in hosptial waiting rooms and corridors for three years and saw many other families who did the same. Many families had traveled far to get their children medical care and could not afford hotel rooms.
The Hills started a small charity. Jim brought an advertising executive, with ties to the McDonald's corporation, in to help with fundraising. The effort escalated until the first Ronald McDonald House was established as a residence for families of children being treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Today there is a growing network of more than 300 Houses around the world.
"The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children."
RMHC's mission is based on its core values. They are:
- Focusing on the critical needs of children.
- Celebrating the diversity of the programs we offer and the staff, volunteers and donors who make them possible.
- Staying true to our heritage of 36 years of responsible stewardship.
- Operating with accountability and transparency.
RMHC's mission is carried out through these programs:
- Ronald McDonald Houses. These are temporary residences located near major medical centers that house the families of children being treated there.
- Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. Special areas located within medical facilities, near patients' rooms and intensive care units. The Family Rooms provide a calm place where families can regroup, rest, and relax while attending to their ill children.
- Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. These are special vehicles deployed in areas around the world where health care for children is limited. They provide cost-effective, high-quality medical, dental and health education services.
- Local Chapters. Local chapters of RMHC have been established around the world. They use volunteers to accomplish local initiatives, ranging from sports centers for disabled children to sensory rooms for children with cognitive and physical disabilities.
McDonald's Involvement with RMHC
Ronald McDonald House Charities has been McDonald’s "charity of choice" since 1975.
RMHC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, but McDonald's is its largest corporate donor. Part of RMHC's annual annual budget is funded by McDonald's and owner/operators of local McDonald's restaurants. The rest comes from individuals and other corporate donors.
RMHC has dedicated itself to building and refitting its houses in energy efficient ways. Serving some 7200 families a night in the more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses can use a lot of energy.
RMHC's environmental initiatives include adopting energy-efficient practices, reducing, reusing and recycling waste, conserving water, utilizing green products and building green. The result is not only greener space for RMHC families, but also tremendous savings in operational costs... savings that go back into direct support programs.