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Ronald McDonald House Charities.svg
Ronald McDonald House in Essen, Germany, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Ronald McDonald House in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
Ronald McDonald House collection canister

A Ronald McDonald House (named after Ronald McDonald) is a place where the parents of children that are in a nearby hospital can stay at night for reduced or no cost. The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974, when former Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill and his wife stayed in hospital rooms while their daughter, Kim, received treatment for leukemia. The Hills opened the first Ronald McDonald House to meet the needs of families whose children were receiving long-term treatment away from home. The Hills, along with the Eagles' management and Dr. Audrey Evans, created a "home away from home" for families being treated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.[1]

In 1981, the first Ronald McDonald House outside the United States opened, in Toronto, Canada. In 1991, the 150th Ronald McDonald House opened, in Paris, France. On July 25, 2005, the 250th opened, in Caracas, Venezuela. Currently, there are 271 Ronald McDonald Houses operating in 30 countries.

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility conducted by Nye Lavalle & Associates. The study showed that Ronald McDonald House was ranked as the 2nd "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 50% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A Lot for Ronald McDonald House.[2]



The Ronald McDonald Houses are financially supported by donations from the public and corporate donors who form cause marketing partnerships with the organization. In many McDonald's restaurants, a collection canister is placed as a fundraiser, donations to which are forwarded to the Ronald McDonald Houses. The houses are not owned or operated by the McDonald’s company, but the company provides the houses with free equipment and services to reduce the cost of operation, and public awareness through fundraising events. In 2003, Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, donated $60 million to the Ronald McDonald House Charity. The Ronald McDonald House Charities are the official philanthropy of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. In 2007, it was among over 530 arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[3]

Through the Ronald McDonald House's Pop Tab Collection Program, to date more than $4 million has been generated. The Pop Tab Collection Program has been established to allow individuals and businesses to collect pop tabs from aluminum cans and donate them to the Ronald McDonald House. Though it differs from House to House, for the most part, Ronald McDonald House uses the money received from recycling the tabs to help offset operational expenses or to sponsor or support programs. Not all Houses participate in the Pop Tab Program.


Worth magazine named Ronald McDonald House Charity one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” in 2001 and 2002.

June 5, 2008 USGBC Awards LEED® Platinum Rating to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas, first LEED Platinum Ronald McDonald House in the world.

The U.S. Green Building Council certified the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas (RMHC-ACT) with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest level of sustainable building in the nation. Not only is the green design good for the environment, the eco-friendly features create a healthier environment for the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House while children are treated at area medical centers. [4] [5] [6]

See also




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