Supporting families and children in our region for over 15 years
The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill and his wife Fran’s young daughter Kim was battling leukemia. They wanted to do something to ease the suffering of families enduring long hospital stays and treatments. With the help of Dr. Audrey Evans, head of pediatric oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Leonard Tose, the Eagles’ owner, Jim Murray, the Eagles’ General Manager, and Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s Regional Manager, the initial funds were raised to buy a house near the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for families to stay while their children were hospitalized. The Philadelphia area McDonald’s owner/operators donated proceeds from the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake which provided much of the funding for the first house. The Ronald McDonald House movement took off quickly after the initial house. Ronald McDonald House Charities was established in 1984 and by 1986 100 Ronald McDonald Houses were operating. In the last 40 years, the Ronald McDonald House program has grown to 365 Houses in 43 countries.
Locally, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana opened a Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Parkview Randallia in 2002.The Ronald McDonald Family Room was later re-licensed as a Ronald McDonald House with 6 guest rooms. In 2012, the Ronald McDonald House moved to its current home inside the Parkview Regional Medical Center. After undergoing an expansion in 2015, the Ronald McDonald House now offers 15 guest rooms and serves approximately 600 families each year.
The charity expanded its impact further by launching a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in July 2018. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provides health services to children 0-5 across northeast Indiana.