Our Ronald McDonald Houses

How We Came Together to Reach More Families

Ronald McDonald House Charities® Bay Area (RMHC Bay Area) operates two Houses for families accessing critical pediactic care, including our 123-room House at Stanford and 11-room House inside UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay (San Francisco).

In 2018, three previously-affiliated local Ronald McDonald House entities - Ronald McDoanld House at Stanford, Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bay Area - came together to serve more families as a fully-integrated RMHC regional chapter, now RMHC Bay Area. Please continue reading to learn more about the history of our Houses:

Our Houses

Ronald McDonald House at Stanford

In 1979, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford opened its 13-room House to families as the fifth of now 366 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world. Over the past 38 years and through several expansions to serve more families, Ronald McDoanld House at Stanford has provided thousands of families the gift of togetherness during their children’s medical crises. Faced with overwhelming uncertainties and displaced from their homes for prolonged periods, families at our House find a safe and supportive place to stay, build strong communities, and access specialized treatment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford (LPCHS).

In 2017, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford completed a multi-phase expansion to double capacity and augment family-centered care services. Now welcoming 123 families of sick children every night, our House has significantly reduced its extensive wait list, enhanced the comfortable and functional environment, and become the largest House in the worldwide system of 365 Ronald McDonald Houses.

Inclusive, engaging programs and services offer families opportunities to ease stress, share experiences, and focus on what matters most – the health and well-being of their children.

RoNAld Mcdonald House at Mission Bay (San Francisco)

Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco opened the doors to its House on Scott St. on January 26, 1989. Its establishment was inspired by baby Simon Nagel Gold, who passed away from a cardiac condition after four weeks in the intensive care nursery at Mt. Zion Medical Center. Simon’s parents could afford a hotel room in San Francisco, but saw firsthand that most of the other parents could not and, though completely exhausted, parents slept in their cars or on the floor in their child’s room.

As a tribute to their son, and to help ease the burden of families faced with similar circumstances, Simon’s parents enlisted support from medical professionals, friends in the community and local McDonald’s owners to build the Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco.

In 2015, Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco opened its 11-room House inside UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay. In 2018, operations were suspended at Scott Street and the Mission Bay House became RMHC Bay Area's primary program location.

Ronald McDonald House Charties® History

When Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill daughter Kim suffered from leukaemia, her diagnosis prompted the team to raise more than $100,000 dollars to support her treatment hospital. This was met with much gratitude from her medical team, who prioritized family-centered care. The generosity compelled the team to request another $32,000 to fund a house in which families of sick children being treated in the hospital could get proper rest, away from the ward. 

This request was met by Ed Rensi, an area McDonald's manager. The company was using the Eagles' players as part of an advertising campaign and offered to donate the proceeds from their 'shamrock shake' to the cause. In return Ed asked that the house be known as the Ronald McDonald House. So it was, that on 15 October 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors. In the intervening years Ronald McDonald House Charities has spread across the world, forming new and independent branches in over 50 regions and countries.