Keeping Families Close

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida is looking forward to a banner year in 2016, which will include opening a new Ronald McDonald House in the spring and celebrating its 20th anniversary in December. Since 1996, over 24,000 families have turned to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando when facing the critical illness of a child.

Providing more than just a place to stay, Ronald McDonald House offers warm meals, transportation to and from the hospital when needed, and household items and small gifts donated by the community. More importantly, the Houses offer a network of love and support to families facing one of the most difficult times in their lives. According to recent impact studies, children whose families stay at Ronald McDonald House tend to be the sickest, have traveled the furthest distance for care, and spend the longest time in the hospital.

Each year, the two Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando (one on the campus of Florida Hospital for Children and the other on the campus of Arnold Palmer Medical Center) serve approximately 1,700 families. The third House will open on the campus of Nemours Children’s Hospital with 15 bedrooms, enabling the organization to serve more families than ever and making Orlando the sixth city in the U.S. to have three or more Ronald McDonald Houses, a clear indicator that our community is becoming a destination for specialized pediatric health care.

Although families staying at Ronald McDonald House are asked to make a small contribution of $20 per night, close to 80 percent are unable to contribute anything toward their stay. Ronald McDonald House promises to never turn a family away due to an inability to donate by relying on financial contributions from the community to support these families in need. Your financial, in-kind, or volunteer contributions will keep families close … close to hope … close to healing.

How you can help:
1. Make a financial donation. Every contribution makes a difference — you can underwrite a one-night family stay for $84.
2. Check out (and support!) the wide variety of fundraising events at
3. Give your time. You can volunteer at the Houses to assist families and even prepare meals through the Share-A-Meal program.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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