Child in our Playroom

Heart and Home Initiative of the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House

The generosity of your heart make our House a Home.

The Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously and critically ill children. The House works diligently to anticipate and relieve any daily stress possible so that parents may focus entirely on what’s most important – healing their sick child. Research indicates that staying at a Ronald McDonald House, with its supportive services ranks higher among families in being able to care for their child than even staying at their own home. And as childhood illness is indiscriminate, the House is dedicated to ensuring that every family receives the supportive services they need free of charge. The Heart and Home Initiative helps to subsidize those costs so that every family has access to the services and understanding community that is the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House.

While it costs the House about $125 a night to host a family, no family is ever turned away due to their inability to make a financial contribution. As many families wish to contribute, the House only suggests a donation of $25 a night, and 70% of families do not contribute that amount.

The Heart and Home Initiative also ensures that all the support that makes our House a home such as continental breakfast and frequently hosted Meals of Love, free laundry and supplies, daily children’s activities and play areas, are available to every family. The House goes above and beyond the resources at home and offers on-call emotional and psychosocial support from our Family Support Services team of psychology interns and post-doctoral fellows. Finally, that Heart and Home Initiative guarantees that when other emergency needs are identified, the House has the means to address them.

But sometimes the amenities the House offers still aren’t enough. When it is revealed that a family needs additional support with essential items – supplementing a weekly grocery budget, acquiring essential baby items, or even securing transportation home after treatment – the Heart and Home Initiative steps in.  

The House staff is always keenly listening to family needs and how they may be better served. As the Heart and Home Initiative grows, the House plans to offer new supportive programs such as shuttle service to treatment facilities in the city for families who do not have transportation, eliminating the stress of driving in LA traffic and alleviating mounting parking fees. The shuttle service may also offer necessary outings for shopping or activities. The House is also exploring a lunch to go program as many of our families depart for the hospital before morning doctor rounds and aren’t available to partake in lunch when served at the House.

As additional needs are identified, the Heart and Home Initiative will provide the resources to implement them to serve our long-term goal of relieving all daily stress possible for families. Because at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, we know that when families are cared for, they are better able to care for their child.