Providing stability and resources for families everywhere
Helping a sick child fight their illness takes a big enough emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial strain can make it all almost too much to bear. RMHC can help address those problems, whether they involve housing that’s near a hospitalized child, the expense of staying together in another city, or even getting basic medical and dental care in a vulnerable community.
Since 1974, RMHC has helped address these needs every day, with 305,000 volunteers and staff members, our connections with medical communities around the world, partnerships with respected companies and our generous donors. We couldn’t do it without all of you.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
- We provide a home-away-from-home for families who have critically-ill children in area hospitals.
- Our mission is: Enriching the Quality of Life for Children and Their Families.
- The Des Moines Ronald McDonald House opened its doors August 29, 1981.
- In 2011, we opened the first Ronald McDonald Family Room in Iowa at Mercy Medical Center.
- The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974 as the result of the perseverance and dedication of Fred Hill, then a Philadelphia Eagles football player. After his daughter Kim was treated for leukemia at the Children’s Hospital, Hill became determined to help other families faced with the question of where to stay when their children are in the hospital. Hill enlisted the help of his teammates and then General Manager, Jim Murray, as well as the local McDonald’s restaurant franchisees to raise funds and purchase the first House.
- The Des Moines House was the 26th House in the RMHC system.
- We can accommodate up to 12 families at a time.
- In 2010, we went through a major renovation adding private bathrooms to all the bedrooms at the Ronald McDonald House
- The only requirement to stay at the Ronald McDonald House is that you live outside of Polk county and have a child 21 years old or younger being treated at an area hospital.
- We primarily serve families whose children are premature, have respiratory problems, cystic fibrosis and cancer.
- We ask families to contribute $10 a night for their stay. Many families cannot afford this so we waive the fee and ask them to do a chore instead. We never turn a family away for their inability to pay.
- Families can stay as long as their need exists, from one night to one year; the average length of stay in 2011 was 8 nights.
- In 2011, we provided a home-away-from-home for over 400 families from 71 Iowa counties and 10 different states.
- Today, there are over 310 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide in over 30 countries with 175 of those in the U.S. and over 175 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms worldwide in 19 countries with 91 of those in the U.S.