Who We Are
In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House® opened in Philadelphia after Dr. Audrey Evans decided that families needed more care and comfort than they were usually provided while their children were sick or injured. She saw parents living in waiting rooms or out of their cars, and she saw families being split apart as one parent stayed at the hospital and the other went home with their other children. Thanks to the generosity of the Philadelphia Eagles and McDonald's®, Dr. Evans' vision for the Ronald McDonald House became a reality. Now, more than 300 Houses are open worldwide to serve families who need the program while their children are treated for illnesses and injuries.
Jacksonville opened a 10-bedroom Ronald McDonald House across from University Hospital (Shands Jacksonville) in November 1988. As pediatric health care became more concentrated on the Southbank of Jacksonville, the need for a House closer to those facilities developed. Our new House opened with 20 bedrooms in November 2001. An additional 10 bedrooms were completed in July 2004. The Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House has served more than 31,500 families since 1988.
In 1993, our Ronald McDonald Family Room® opened on the 5th Floor of Wolfson Children's Hospital thanks to the generosity of Mary Virginia and the late C. Herman Terry. Mary Virginia Terry graciously contributed to the renovation of the Family Room in 2008 when it was moved to the 3rd Floor outside of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where the program is able to serve more families.
In 2008, our organization expanded our reach and scope of services to become a Chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities®, introducing new opportunities to reach children in the Jacksonville area through the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and Community Outreach programs.