The History of the House that Love Built
At Ronald McDonald House Charities, we owe our continued success to the tireless work of volunteers and the countless contributions from our donors. Because of you, we’ve been helping improve the lives of children and their families for over 36 years. Learn more about our history. Here are some of the historic milestones that you have made possible:
The first Ronald McDonald House opens in Philadelphia
October 15, 1974 | The first Ronald McDonald House opens in Philadelphia thanks to Dr. Audrey Evans, Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill, Jim Murray, the Eagles general manager and Ed Rensi.
November 1974 | McDonald’s owner/operators in Philadelphia made the House possible, donating proceeds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes.
Hearthstone House opens its doors to families in Charlottesville, Virginia
1981 | The Hearthstone House, precursor to RMHC Charlottesville, opens its doors to families with ill or injured children in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Ronald McDonald House establishes the Pop Tab Collection Program
1987 | The Minneapolis/St. Paul Ronald McDonald House establishes the Pop Tab Collection Recycling Program. Since then, participating Houses have raised millions.
The Hearthstone House becomes Ronald McDonald House Charities Charlottesville
1988 | The Hearthstone House officially becomes a Ronald McDonald House Charity.
New House Opens in Charlottesville, Virginia
1991 | Ronald McDonald House Charities Charlottesville opens a new House within walking distance to UVA Medical Center: 300 9th St. SW.
First Ronald McDonald Family Room
1992 | RMHC creates a new program for the families of critically ill children with the first Ronald McDonald Family Room, opening at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, KS.
RMHC Launches the first Ronald McDonald Care Mobile
2000 | RMHC launches the first Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Worcester, MA, offering cost-effective medical, dental and health education services to vulnerable children.
Worth magazine names RMHC one of “America’s 100 Best Charities of 2002”.
2002 | Worth magazine names RMHC one of “America’s 100 Best Charities of 2002”. It’s the second consecutive year RMHC receives this honor.
RMHC celebrates the 300th Ronald McDonald House opening in St. Louis
2010 | RMHC celebrates the 300th Ronald McDonald House opening in St. Louis on September 29. The 300th House provides 20 bedrooms, and is 18,188 square feet.
Major Renovation Project Begins for the Charlottesville House
2013 | RMHC Charlottesville begins a major renovation project to rejuvenate the facility and elevate the level of care provided for guest families.
RMHC Celebrates 40th Anniversary
2014 | RMHC celebrates the 40th anniversary of the opening of the very first Ronald McDonald House.
Renovation Complete at RMHC Charlottesville
March 2014 | Renovation is completed in March at RMHC Charlottesville. The House now has 19 bedrooms, private bathrooms, and modernized kitchen and laundry facilities.
The RMHC Legacy Continues…
2018 | Worldwide, RMHC has 350 houses in 62 countries. RMHC Charlottesville continues to look for ways to grow and serve the families of ill and injured children in Charlottesville.