RONALD McDONALD HOUSE
Providing the gift of togetherness
What We Do
We’re going to extraordinary lengths to create some extremely ordinary times.
After 25 years of helping families stay together through some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, we decided enough wasn’t really enough after all. Our mission is to create and operate programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Keep reading to find out what we’re doing about it.
Boredom is a beautiful thing.
Why, you may be wondering, do we focus on keeping things ordinary, unperturbed, and, yes, even boring? Because the families we serve are regular folks facing unfamiliar situations – with kids who have been diagnosed with medical issues that are sometimes rare, sometimes chronic and sometimes both. And they’re often hundreds of miles from home.
What they need is a welcoming place to stay. Laundry facilities. Meals. Help with schoolwork. Places to hang out, watch movies or play games (whether board, video or invented). Assistance with managing finances and things back home. Maybe even a haircut or two.
But the last thing they need is more stress.
So yes, we get very, very excited about keeping things on an even keel.
Consider us the made-to-order, one-of-a-kind, double with everything.
In 1994, we opened our House with 10 guest rooms. In 2000, we doubled our capacity to 20. Now we’ve doubled down on doubling up and have expanded to 40 guest rooms. But that was just part of the plan. We’ve got extras and add-ons and unexpected upgrades galore. RMHC in Omaha’s facilities are unlike any other House in the world. A designation we honestly hope doesn’t last very long.
We couldn’t say it better ourselves.
In 2018, RMHC in Omaha hosted over 150 families from 22 states who spent a total of 6,496 nights – with an average stay of 45 days – at the House. Half of these families were making the trip to Omaha for the first time. And while each family shares a common bond, their stories are uniquely their own.
Help us keep the love local.
Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha may be named after an internationally famous big-shoed burgermeister, but our mission and funding is decidedly local.
Our funding is raised throughout the year at several RMHC events, the collection of pop can tabs (seriously, it pays our electric bill), and various kind-hearted corporate and individual donors from around the community
Additional funding comes in part from McDonald’s MAC, Inc., the regional McDonald’s franchisee group, who support us as title sponsors of our annual golf tournament, via the donation slots at McDonald’s drive-thrus, and assorted other forms of generosity.
It costs $120 per night to host a family. And while we suggest that each family contribute $20 towards that amount, no one is ever turned away due to financial reasons.
So, if you’d like to donate and perhaps sponsor a night, or if you’re more of the volunteering type, call us today at 402-346-9377, and we will find the best fit for you.
Benefits of Staying At The House
There is clinical research supporting that Ronald McDonald House is the best housing option for families when they are away from home and their child needs medical care. These are a few of the benefits that families receive while staying at Ronald McDonald House:
- Support Access to Care
- Reduce Financial Burden
- Provide Psychological Support Keeping Families Together
- Enhance Clinical Experience and Outcomes
- Help Families Resume Normalcy
Our Partners & Programming
Through many amazing partnerships, we are able to provide wrap-around services for all members of the family. Below is a list that captures many of our partners and programs.
- Meals That Heal: Businesses, families, and other groups cook a hot meal in the state-of-the-art kitchen every evening for the families. We have seen firsthand how sharing a meal and a conversation can create an interdependent network of support.
- Completely Kids: Many of our children experience large gaps in education due to illness. Completely Kids offers curriculum-based programming three times a week in our new state of the art classroom. Along with programming for adults such as parenting skills or knitting.
- A variety of local artists visit the House monthly to provide programming that promotes healing through the arts and activities like song and dance, painting, theater, and puppetry.
- Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics provides haircuts in our new salon. Provides an overall feeling of well-being to all family members staying at the House, especially those who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
- Simon Says: Live Better Foundation visits RMHC on a monthly basis to throw a birthday party celebrating all children and parents’ birthdays that month.
- Option Care, an independent provider of infusion services, provides equipment training to families so that they can better understand their child’s diagnosis and what to expect moving forward. They are currently designing curriculum to add dietary classes to their regime of in-kind services.
- Grief’s Journey offers in-house trauma-based programs to aid families in resuming normalcy after experiencing hardship. Additionally, they host workshops to ensure RMHC staff is equipped on how to best support families during periods of grieving.
- Students enrolled in the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Accelerated Nursing Program visit the house to complete projects that support families during their stay.
- City Sprouts planted a garden this August for produce and herbs which will be parlayed into educating families about sustainability and nutrition.
- Huey, a community therapy dog with Paws of Friendship, and Ralphie, therapy dog in training, visit the House weekly to provide a slightly different level of support. Many members of the family benefit from just a few moments spent with these two incredible dogs.
- HERE, Here For You For Them – Their mission is “Building strong, peaceful, resilient hearts through the magic of being here” and is driven by the desire to ensure the happiness and emotional wellbeing of individuals, children and families. They have built a digital platform with mindful parenting tools and techniques, along with yoga poses, activities and breathing exercises for children that help with stress, anxiety, courage, resilience and self-love. Along with their digital platform, co-founders Dana and Jen also began their real-world, Om:Pop yoga and mindfulness series, which brings bespoke yoga and mindfulness sessions to families.