Frequently Asked Questions

We Give Families What They Need Most – Their Families

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


WHAT IS RONALD McDONALD HOUSE?

Ronald McDonald House is a ‘home away from home’ for the families of seriously ill children (0-18 years) and ill expectant mothers being treated at Freeman Health System and Mercy Hospital Joplin.

WHERE IS IT LOCATED?

Ronald McDonald House of the Four States is located at 3402 South Jackson in Joplin, Missouri. It is within walking distance of nearby hospitals.

WHEN DID IT OPEN?

Our House opened on July 27, 1998. We registered our first guest on August 20, 1998. As of June 30, 2016 we have served 2,784 unduplicated families from 37 different states and two foreign countries. Families from 245 different communities in our Four State area have called us home for a total of 28,702 nights.

WHO USES OUR HOUSE?

Parents with newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Trauma victims (i.e. auto accidents) involving children 18 years of age and under.
Children who have specialized surgeries (i.e. dental, orthopedic)
Mothers developing illness during pregnancy requiring continuous rest or monitoring.
Children with illness requiring extended hospitalization.

Priority is given to families living outside the Joplin area.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO STAY THERE?

Families are asked to contribute $10 per night. If that is not possible their stay is free.

HOW IS OUR HOUSE STAFFED?

One full time house manager, one part-time program assistant, and 135 active adult and teen volunteers, as well as 32 junior volunteers operate this 24 hours a day, 365 days a year program. The House Manager oversees the day-to-day operation. Volunteers help with all aspects of the House including housekeeping, support and services to families, night manager duties, meal preparation & fundraising.

HOW IS OUR HOUSE FUNDED?

All monies needed to operate the program are derived through individual and/or corporate donations. Ronald McDonald House is a tax exempt, nonprofit organization established as a 501c3. Donations are tax deductible.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OPERATE OUR HOUSE?

Monthly operating costs average $26,900 per month.

WHY IS OUR HOUSE CALLED THE ‘RONALD McDONALD HOUSE?’

Founders of the first RMH in Philadelphia selected the name “Ronald McDonald House” because this beloved clown is a symbol of happiness to children around the world.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE McDONALD’S CORPORATION IN RONALD McDONALD HOUSE?

A common misconception is that a Ronald McDonald House is owned or in some way funded by the McDonald Corporation. Each Ronald McDonald House is locally owned and operated – ours by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States, a non-profit corporation which has obtained its tax exemption under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is the proven philosophy of the Ronald McDonald House nationwide that the local community commitment that will ensure the continued success of any house is built upon the local community raising the necessary funds to build and operate the House. It is the commitment of each local community to their House which has allowed the Ronald McDonald Houses nationwide to build and establish a track record of never having any House fail for lack of funding or community support after it has opened.

McDonald’s and those affiliated with McDonald’s play an important role in the House. The local owner/operators of McDonald’s restaurants pledge their support for a fundraising base and assist with various fundraisers throughout the year. Through our affiliation we also receive numerous in-kind donations.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF RONALD McDONALD HOUSES?

Ronald McDonald House of the Four States is part of the only worldwide service of its kind.

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. Fred and Fran Hill’s daughter Kim was undergoing treatment for leukemia. During Kim’s three years of treatment, the Hills grew tired of sleeping in the hospital waiting room and eating meals out of vending machines. Fred, who was a player for the Philadelphia Eagles at the time, rallied the support of his teammates and General Manager Jim Murray; Dr. Audrey Evans from The Children’s hospital of Philadelphia; and local McDonald’s franchisees to create Ronald McDonald House.

40 years later, there are now 358 Ronald McDonald Houses in 42 countries and regions.