In 1974 the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time Kim Hill, the daughter of Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill, was undergoing treatment for leukemia. Throughout Kim's treatment, her father recognized the need for a supportive environment away from the hospital for families of seriously ill children. He enlisted the aid of his teammates and local McDonald's restaurant owners to raise funds that would help purchase and renovate the first Ronald McDonald House.
The first Ronald McDonald House was named, not only because of McDonald's fund-raising support but also for the positive, hopeful, and fun-loving feeling Ronald McDonald was able to instill into the minds of so many children.
Today there are more than 360 Ronald McDonald Houses located world-wide. Every Ronald McDonald House is autonomous and is owned by a not-for-profit corporation in the city where it is located.
Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland
The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland became licensed and incorporated in 1978 and began providing lodging and support services to families of critically ill and injured children in September of 1979. The original Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland had 26 rooms, a kitchen, common areas and a small garden.
In 1994 the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland moved to its current location on the corner of E. 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. The House offered 37 guest rooms, comfortable living and play areas, a fully equipped kitchen, library, family resource center, children's playroom and laundry room. Surrounding the House are beautiful gardens, flowers, herbs, children's gardens, winding walkways and benches. This serene oasis was designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
In 2012, the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland launched a massive expansion and renovation project. Designed by City Architecture and constructed by Regency Construction Services, the new wing added an additional 20,000 square feet on four floors, including 18 new guest rooms, a larger kitchen facility, an extended recreation room for families to gather and an expanded conference center available for community meetings. The renovations to the existing space upgraded all 37 original guest rooms, along with indoor and outdoor common areas, giving the entire House a fresh look. Today the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland can comfortably accommodate up to 55 families each night. It stands as a symbol of comfort and support in our community, with open arms to welcome any family who might need shelter within its walls.
Through our expanded House, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in four local hospitals, STAR Centers in two outpatient facilities and online family resource link RedTreehouse.org, we are able to help families in more ways than ever before.