Staying With Us >

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all Ronald McDonald House Charities connected?

Ronald McDonald Houses are owned and operated by local chapters of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC), based in Chicago, Illinois. Each local chapter is licensed by McDonald’s Corporation and operates as an IRS-designated 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. While all chapters are part of the overall RMHC system, each is overseen at the local level by its own Board of Directors and is supported by individuals, organizations, businesses, and foundations within the local community.

How is the Chapter operated?

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut & Western Massachusetts is an independent, community supported, 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. A Board of Directors governs the Chapter and is responsible for policy making, governance and financial oversight. The Board is composed of community, medical and McDonald’s representatives. The Board hires the Executive Director who manages the ongoing operations including staffing, public relations, strategic planning and fundraising. In addition to the small staff, we have over 100 volunteers who cover daily and weekly shifts at the House, as well as provide help during our major fundraising events.

How is McDonald’s involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut & Western Massachusetts?

The partnership between McDonald’s Corporation and Ronald McDonald House Charities and its programs dates back to the inception of the charitable organization. Collectively McDonald’s utilize their restaurants, advertising dollars, packaging and crew to create customer awareness and support of the charity. Ronald McDonald House Charities® and the McDonald’s Corporation (Owner Operators, employees, customers and vendors) also provide financial support for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut & Western Massachusetts. A portion of our annual operating budget is received through the support of the local McDonald’s Owners Operators. They also participate in fundraisers, volunteer their time at special events, and serve on our Board of Directors.

Who provides the funding to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut & Western Massachusetts?

The vast majority of funding needed to operate our Ronald McDonald Houses is provided by communities served by the Houses – individuals, corporations, foundations, and civic groups. The Chapter raises funds in a variety of ways, including special events, major gift programs, annual fund, grant requests, direct mail, planned giving, and Pop Tab programs. The Chapter also receives donor designated funds through the United Way.

What does Ronald McDonald House do for families?

In addition to providing safe and comfortable accommodations and a caring environment, Ronald McDonald House allows families to find a strong support system, establishing friendships with other families facing similar anxieties, hardships, and uncertainties. A family may stay at our Houses whether the child is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment.

What does a family staying at Ronald McDonald House receive?

Each year, our two Ronald McDonald Houses serve hundreds of families. Each family has a private guest room with a bathroom. In addition, each house has a large kitchen, a common dining room, a living room, and indoor and outdoor play areas. The Houses are also handicapped accessible.

Top medical reasons families visit the House are for:

  • Premature Birth
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedic Surgeries and Prosthetics

How much does it cost a family to stay at the Ronald McDonald House?

Families are asked to donate $15 per night; however no family is ever turned away due to the inability to contribute. On average it costs $120 a night to operate each guest room.

Who is eligible to stay at the Ronald McDonald House?

Families of a pediatric patient, who is 21 years or younger, under current medical care.

How do I get a referral for a room at the House?

The Ronald McDonald House only accepts referrals from the healthcare provider or social services department of the hospital where the patient is being treated. It is the responsibility of the healthcare provider or social worker to pre-screen the family to ensure that they meet RMHC requirements. If the family is eligible to stay at the House, the healthcare provider or social worker will then make the referral request.

How do I get in contact with a social worker?

The patient’s nurse or physician should be able to direct you to social services, or you can go to the hospital information desk.

Does a referral guarantee a room at the House?

A referral does not guarantee that a room will become available. A referral simply places the family on the waiting list.

How do I know when a room becomes available?

If a room becomes available, the Family Services Team will contact the family and give further instructions about checking in.

What do I need to bring to check-in?

Bring a photo ID for all adults, 18 and older, who will be staying overnight.

How does the House differ from a hotel?

Unlike hotels, the Ronald McDonald House allows each family only one room. Each individual guest family is responsible for cleaning their own room, including linens. The Ronald McDonald House is a community living setting. There are many communal areas including living and dining areas as well as a full-size kitchen. In addition, each family is given a secure storage space, in the refrigerator and freezer, in the kitchen area for personal items including food, drink or dry goods. The refrigerator and freezer areas for families are not secure, just the non-perishable pantry areas. If the family needs to store medicine or breast milk, they will be given a mini-fridge in their room.

Do I need to bring my own blankets, sheets, pillows, etc.?

A complete set of bedding is provided by the House for you to use during your entire stay. Free laundry facilities are available for you.

Need more help?

Our community, staff and leadership are here to serve our families in their time of need. If you have additional questions about Ronald McDonald House Charities or about staying at our Houses, please feel free to reach out to our team.

Make a difference for families in need

Every day, families face the challenge of having a child in the hospital, and your generosity helps Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts keep them together. Learn more about our programs and join our community of supporters.