The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a world body, includes over 350 Ronald McDonald Houses, and hundreds of different programmes in 63 countries and regions. Its mission is to create, find and support programmes that at once improve the health and properly-being of youngsters and their families.
The Charity began work in 1974 with the opening of the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia.
Dr Audrey Evans, who later became a co-founder of RMHC, was working as a pediatric oncologist at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia when she realised the need for families of sick children to have a place to stay while the children were undergoing treatment or in post-operative care. The place may not be just any place, but had to be a supportive one that took care of the familys needs throughout this stressful time in their lives.
Around the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles, an American football team, was involved in a fundraising activity to support player Fred Hill and his wife Fran Hills daughter, Kim, who was battling childhood leukemia. Thanks to Leonard Tose, the then owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, the team received his undivided support to preserve raising funds to help benefit the local area hospitals. Stan Lane, neighbour to the Hill family, in turn, formed Eagles Fly for Leukemia, so that you'll organise the fundraising efforts to benefit Kim Hill.
The team raised in excess of $a hundred,000. Co-Founder after which General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jimmy Murray, approached Dr Lawrence Naiman at the St. Christophers Hospital for Children with the proceeds raised by the Eagles. However, Dr Naiman directed Jimmy to satisfy Dr Evans, pointing out that she had a larger plan and a greater need for the proceeds. Thus, the first proceeds from the Eagles went towards creating two positive pressure rooms at The Childrens Hospital in Philadelphia.
It was then that Dr Evans told Murray of her vision for a residence. On hearing her plan, Murray approached Don Tuckerman and Stanley Elkman of Elkman Advertising and came up with an theory that a quarter from every McDonalds Shamrock Shake sold in the Philadelphia location would go towards the purchase of a House located by Dr Audrey Evans. Now they had get the McDonalds nod on this.
Ed Rensi, President of the McDonalds Region, said yes to this proposal and agreed to provide funds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes in case McDonalds may put its name on the House by calling it the Ronald McDonald House.
Thus, on October 15, 1974, the worlds first Ronald McDonald House was born. In the subsequent years, the Ronald McDonald House Charities has spread across the world, forming new and independent branches in over 50 regions and countries.
The Homes preserve to be a home away from home, where caregivers within a family can find the emotional support they are trying by sharing their story with other families who may be experiencing similar situations.
The Philadelphia home today
The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House has grown from one to two homes today. It continues to create a community of comfort and hope. Its programmes include two Ronald McDonald Houses, two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a Hospitality Kiosk at St Christopher's Hospital for Children, and a Ronald McDonald Camp.
As much as ninety% of their funding comes from individuals and corporate donors, while the remaining 10% is provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities. While it charges the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House over $a hundred a night per family to provide housing and support services, families are only asked to contribute nearly $15 per night. Of course, no one is ever turned away due to their inability to pay.
The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House offers a homelike environment for families while offering the support of staff and volunteers.
In addition to the 2 Houses in Philadelphia, which serve 65 families every night, the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House operates a Ronald McDonald Camp in the Poconos, which offers oncology patients and their siblings the opportunity to take part in a one-week summer time camp.
They also operate two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, which provide a nontoxic space for families away from their childrens bedside.
Their newest programme is a Hospitality Kiosk at St Christophers Hospital for Children, which extends the comforts of the Houses to families with children in critical care units. They are offered snacks and other services.