breaking groundOVER 33 YEARS AGOat RMHC

Our History

Supporting children and families in their time of need.

42 years ago, the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in Philadelphia as a home away from home where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. It all began when Kim Hill, the three year old daughter of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill, was diagnosed with leukemia. Like other parents and families in similar situations, Hill and his wife Fran never left Kim’s hospital bedside, sleeping on hospital chairs and benches and eating food from vending machines. The Hills witnessed other parents doing the same, and learned that many families had traveled great distances to bring their sick children to the medical facility, burdened with the cost of comfortable living during their frequent treatment visits.The Hills believed there was a happy medium solution. Hill returned to his Eagle teammates and rallied monetary support to help families who endured the same emotional and financial hardships.Through the Philadelphia Eagle’s 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. Sharing the same concern for families who endured long stays in uncomfortable hospital wards, Dr. Evans dreamed of a house that would serve as a temporary residence for families of children being treated at the hospital. This dream paved the way for the first ever Ronald McDonald House. The Eagles recruited more help from McDonald’s restaurants to raise money for the first house, and in 1974, it opened bearing the name of the McDonald’s iconic clown, Ronald McDonald.Fast forward to today and we have 347 houses throughout the world, including Poland, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, South Korea, Peru, well, you get the idea.

The Ronald McDonald House of Charleston began as a 12 bedroom facility located steps from MUSC Children’s Hospital, and opened on September 10, 1983. Today, we serve 32 families each and every day of the year, 24 hours a day. Since our opening , over 50,000 moms, dads and children have stayed in our home away from home, leading a life as normal as possible during their traumatic times, without the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses.

Did you Know:

  • Charleston was the 50th House built, today there are over 360 in the world
  • Served families from all 50 states and 14 different countries
  • RMHC Charleston has helped more than 50,000 moms, dads, brothers and sisters
  • We served 768 families in 2016


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