OUR HISTORY

Always growing thanks to tireless volunteers, generous donors, and committed staff

How it all Started
When Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill’s daughter Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, he and his wife Fran camped out on hospital chairs and benches, and ate food from vending machines. Noticing the many families around them in the same situation, Hill rallied the support of his teammates to raise funds to help other families experiencing the same emotional and financial traumas as his own.

Through the Philadelphia Eagles’ Owner, Leonard Tose, and the General Manager, Jim Murray, the team offered its support to Dr. Audrey Evans, head of the pediatric oncology unit at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It was Dr. Evans’ dream for a house that could serve as a temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital.

Together, Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s regional manager and the local owner/operators in Philadelphia helped to make the vision of a "home-away-from-home" a reality, donating proceeds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes at local McDonald’s restaurants. The successful campaign led to the first Ronald McDonald House in 1974 – a seven-bedroom house on Spruce Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ronald McDonald House at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital
Ronald McDonald House Charities® Oklahoma City opened our first Ronald McDonald House at 1301 Northeast 14th Street in 1984. The house was initially 10 private rooms with community bathrooms and later expanded to 14 private rooms, each with a private bathroom. To meet the growing need, a second Ronald McDonald House opened in Garrison Tower at Oklahoma Children's Hospital in 2015. This house began with 14 private bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. We closed our original House on January 23, 2018, and began a 26 bedroom expansion project at Garrison Tower. In 2020, we completed the project which brings us to 40 bedrooms. Now even more families can stay close to their hospitalized child.

Ronald McDonald Family Room at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital
To offer families a place to rest and regroup while at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, the Ronald McDonald Family Room opened for day use on the sixth floor in 2008.

Read more about our Expansion.

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