What We Do
Ronald McDonald House®
The Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House is the cornerstone program of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Jacksonville. The 30-bedroom facility offers lodging and other support services for families with critically ill, chronically ill or seriously injured children being treated in Jacksonville. Since 1988, the House has served more than 31,500 families. The services provided to families staying at the House help to reduce the amount of stress placed upon them while their child is undergoing medical care. Families are kept together and close to the hospital in an environment that supports their physical and emotional needs.
Ronald McDonald Family Room®
The Family Room is a place of respite inside Wolfson Children's Hospital that provides a restful atmosphere, snacks and volunteer support to the families that utilize the program. The Family Room opened in 1993 thanks to the wonderful support of Mary Virginia and the late C. Herman Terry.
Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a mobile healthcare facility operated by St. Vincent's Mobile Outreach Ministry and funded by St. Vincent's HealthCare Foundation. Since 2004, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has visited middle and high schools in underserved Jacksonville communities. Medical professionals provide physicals, vaccinations and diagnostic testing through the program.
As a Chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, opportunities exist to go beyond the work of the core programs to fund local children's healthcare programs. RMHC Jacksonville will use funds raised through McDonald's donation box collections and store promotions combined with matching grants from RMHC Global to develop outreach projects.
Meet Our Families!
RMHC Jacksonville serves more than 1,100 families every year. Below are just a few of the families' stories.
This is Genesis, a 9 year old little girl with a glowing personality and a contagious laugh that brightens any room she enters. Genesis like many little girls loves to dance, do arts and crafts and have her nails painted. But Genesis is not like most other little girls. She has faced a lifetime of treatments and has been under the care of a doctor since she was only 4 hours old.
Genesis was born with hip dysplasia, a deformation or misalignment of the hip joint. If left untreated, hip dysplasia can cause difficulty walking. Genesis and her family have come to Jacksonville, from their home in Puerto Rico, 4 times for surgeries and therapy to treat Genesis’ condition. Each time, they have stayed at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House.
On her most recent visit to Jacksonville Genesis underwent surgery on her birthday, of all days. You might expect that this would have ruined her big day, but instead when asked how she felt about spending her birthday in the hospital; Genesis replied “In the hospital, I could not have any cake but when I was released we had a big party at the Ronald McDonald House. I got to share my birthday and my cake with all my new friends. It was great!” Genesis has made many friends at the Ronald McDonald House and still stays in touch with them, even after they return home. Genesis told us that some of her best friends are those she met at the Ronald McDonald House and that talking on the phone with them is one of her favorite things to do. Genesis smiled sheepishly, as she admitted “A couple of months ago, I talked to my friends for so long, that the long distance bill was $50! My dad went out and bought me a long distance calling card so that doesn’t happen again.”
Genesis is not the only one in her family that appreciates staying at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House, her parents and little brother love it as well. They have all met special friends and enjoyed making special memories together. Genesis’ mom told us “Staying at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House is our favorite part of coming to the States, because everyone here treats us like family.”
Genesis paid us the ultimate compliment when she told us of her plans for the future. Genesis hopes to someday be able to pay it forward and help others by going to work for a Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapter. “Ronald McDonald House makes me so happy and I want to help make other kids happy too.”
Thank you to all those who help us make kids, like Genesis, happy.
Former RMHC Jacksonville Guest Pays it Forward
This is Halli, she was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was just a year old. She needed specialty treatment from doctors in Jacksonville, but her family lived more than an hour away. Halli’s parents were very worried about their daughter and thought that staying in a hotel would be their only option. Then, Halli's nurse told them about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville. Halli's dad, Chad told us that he was relived when he learned that they could stay at the House because "the cost of a hotel would have made a tough situation even worse."
Chad told us that staying at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House allowed him and his wife to remain close to their daughter, so they could be with her as much as possible. They were also really grateful for the hot meals that were prepared for them each night when they returned from the hospital and for the support that they received from the volunteers and the staff. Halli’s family stayed at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House each time they returned to Jacksonville for treatment. Halli is now a happy and thriving 9 year old. She only has one follow-up visit a year and Chad tells us that he is looking forward to the day that they tell him that she is officially cured.
Even though Halli and her family don’t need to stay at the House anymore, we still get to see Chad from time to time. Chad works for Miller Electric Company and is often called to the House to help repair the electrical systems. Chad tells us that returning to the House brings back good memories of his time here and reminds him of all the support that he received. He tells us that working on the House makes him feel great about his job and he appreciates the opportunity to help make the House a home for families in need. Chad also tells us that, like all of us, his life gets busy and sometimes it is easy to forget about everything they have gone through and to start to take life for granted. Working on the House brings it all back and reminds him how lucky he is to have Halli.