Who We Are
Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario will be part of a network of love that started 35 years ago in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States and which now encircles the globe. Ronald McDonald House, a world-recognized brand name synonymous with caring and compassion, is the cornerstone of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC). Each night, more than 11,000 families are accommodated in one of the almost 300 Ronald McDonald Houses in this network.
Ronald McDonald House is the cornerstone of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Each Ronald McDonald House provides a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children who are being treated at nearby children's hospitals. It is a place where families can be together and kids can share experiences with others who are just like them.
There are 12 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada. Each one is independently owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization. In addition to the support from RMHC Canada, RMHC Global and McDonald's®, they rely on support from many donors in their communities to make this House that Love Built a reality.
Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario is managed by a dedicated professional staff that, while small in number, are large in heart. It is also supported by a full complement of hardworking volunteers and led by a committed Board of Directors.
To provide a welcome, supportive and secure environment to out-of-town families of seriously ill or injured children who are in London receiving medical treatment for their child.
As a “Home Away From Home” we strive to provide comfort and support to families who are impacted by the serious illness or injury of their child”.
What is a Ronald McDonald House?
A Ronald McDonald House is a 'home-away-from-home', a temporary residential facility where families of seriously ill or injured children can reside while their children receive treatment. Families who use the London House have children mainly in the Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Centre. The children receiving treatment must be 18 years of age or under.
In Ronald McDonald House, comfortable, bright bedrooms with attached full baths, kitchen and dining room accessibility, living rooms, games room, library and play rooms let the families lead lives as normally as possible under the circumstances. Parents can share their concerns and worries with other parents in similar circumstances who may best understand the emotional strain and pressures they endure. As well, an understanding and sympathetic staff is present to offer a listening ear, temporarily standing in for friends and family who would ordinarily give support at such times, (however, staff does not counsel; that is left to trained professionals). Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario offers such a place to out-of-town parents with seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment from one of London's health care centres. No family is ever turned away due to financial standing; it is the seriousness of the child's diagnosis and the availability of rooms that are the deciding factors.
Why are Houses Needed?
The purpose of the House is to provide a home-like environment for families while their child is receiving medical care in another city. These children need the support of their parents and siblings while they undergo treatment. Families need a place where they can feel comfortable and find stability when serious injury or illness strikes their children. Families traveling some distances to obtain medical treatment for their child often have their problems compounded: expensive hotel or motel accommodations, or sleeping in hospital waiting rooms or a corridor; siblings upset at abnormal situations. The House attempts to provide assistance and a little bit of normal during these stressful times.
How is the House Funded?
A Ronald McDonald House is totally dependent on public donations and fundraising events; funding is not received from any agency or government body. A very hard working development team is responsible for raising funds for operating costs as well as any capital costs which might occur. Operating costs for the Ronald McDonald House of Southwestern Ontario are strictly analyzed and carefully controlled.
In addition to the many generous donations received from individuals, several corporate entities, including premier sponsors McDonald's Restaurants of Canada and Cargill Value Added Meats Canada, ensure that the House is able to meet its mandate. They do so with monetary gifts as well as gifts in kind.
Who Keeps the House Running?
The energy behind the House comes from the more than 150 volunteers who lend their time to assist with all facets of the House. While staying at the House, families are also considered volunteers. They are responsible for their own cleaning, laundry and cooking. There is a small paid staff that consists of Executive Director, Margaret Anderson, Family Services Manager, Margaret Wakefield, Director of Development, Jenne Wason, Development Manager, Kelley Montfort, Development Associate, Sindy Humphrey, Communications Associate, Brianna Evans, Office Administrator, Jessi Linn Davies (Edina Usanovic on Mat. Leave), Family Room and Volunteer Coordinator, Lee Bentum and Facilities Coordinator Paul Pogue. There are also six part-time Family Services Coordinators and a part-time bookkeeper.
Who Owns the House?
Each House is owned and operated by a non-profit, registered charitable organization created locally for the purpose of operating a Ronald McDonald House. The body that owns and operates Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario is Southwestern Ontario Childrens Care Inc. All members and directors are unpaid volunteers.