In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia thanks to Dr. Audrey Evans, Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill (whose daughter, Kim, had leukemia), Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager and Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s regional manager. The McDonald’s owner/operators in Philadelphia made the House possible, donating proceeds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes.
In 1984, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities is officially established in memory of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, a strong advocate for children. (The name changed to Ronald McDonald House Charities in 1996.)
In April 1988, the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill opened. Since opening its doors, the House has provided more than 130,000 nights lodging to more than 30,000 families. The 20,000 square foot facility has 29 guestrooms (each with a private bath), a spacious kitchen and dining area, a kitchen especially for bone marrow transplant patients and other immune suppressed children to use, a children’s playroom, comfortable family rooms, peaceful outdoor gardens and kid-friendly play areas. The House is located just over a mile south of UNC Hospitals.
The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill serves families from across the state of North Carolina, the U.S. and even foreign countries. Families staying at the House not only enjoy amenities like those found in their own home, but also the support of other families experiencing similar struggles. In the comfort and quiet provided here they are able to relax and unwind after a long, stressful day at the hospital.
The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill provides a “home away from home” for families of children who are receiving health care at area hospitals. The House offers physical comfort and emotional support through programs dedicated to the well-being of the whole family.