Keeping Families Together: What Ronald McDonald House Really Does

Keeping Families Together: What Ronald McDonald House Really Does

With free rooms to stay overnight in the hospital, this service makes getting treatment for your kids easier.

When my daughter was born early at almost 33 weeks of age, we got to know the local hospital better. A lot better. She did well and was, thankfully, free from major complications. She simply needed to gain extra weight and bring her eating up to par, in order to come home.

But being a parent of a preemie meant long hours spent hanging out in between feedings, without much place to go. The hospital atrium with a food court became an oasis. And, I have to say, the Ronald McDonald House was a true blessing.

Honestly, with my cynical thinking I never thought I would be thanking McDonald’s for anything, but maybe some early heart disease. It’s true. But the free service run by McDonald’s is invaluable in helping families.

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What is it? Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) provides support and care for families of children who need to stay in a hospital for longer, as they fight an illness or receive medical care for some other reason.

Currently, RMHC has local chapters in more than 64 countries and regions, worldwide.

Since 1974, the organization has been run with the help of 431,174 volunteers and staff members, staffing Ronald McDonald houses, family rooms and care mobiles to provide general support in hospitals and medical and dental care to communities in need.

The program also provides grants to non-profit organizations that focus on the needs of children. It’s very helpful. Thank you, McDonald’s, for a place to sit and have lunch, talk with others going through the same thing, and a space to sleep in the hospital at night when needed, in order to be close at hand. Very helpful.

Photo credit: psodaz/

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