Keeping Families Close Since 1990

We Believe Families Heal Better Together

About us

Since 1990, we have been a place of hope and healing when families felt alone. We provide care, comfort, community and a free place to stay so families can focus on what’s most important – the health of their child.

Our Mission

We provide essential services that remove barriers, strengthen families, and promote healing when children need healthcare.

Our Vision

A world where every family has what they need to ensure the best health outcomes for their children.

House before opening, 1989

Groundbreaking, 1989

Ronald Ribbon Cutting, 1990


5 Year Celebration

Original Bedrooms, 1990

Baby Sara, October 12, 1994

Each night, we keep 25 families close to their child during medical treatment in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Care, hope, comfort, love – It’s all on the House.

Providing families a place to stay close to their hospitalized child supports the child’s health and well-being while saving families more than $500,000 in hotel and food costs each year.

Our History

Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the 1970s, saw families spend night after night sleeping in hospital chairs while their children received life-saving medical treatment. She knew that families needed to heal together because a sick child is a sick family. She envisioned a house where families could stay together during these stressful and uncertain times.

At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles were raising funds in support of player Fred Hill, whose daughter, Kim, was in treatment for leukemia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. When Eagles’ General Manager Jimmy Murray approached St. Christopher’s about donating to the hospital, Dr. Lawrence Naiman suggested there was an even greater need for funds resting with Dr. Evans. Mr. Murray met Dr. Evans, he became a champion for her vision, and later became a Co-Founder of the Ronald McDonald House, along with Dr. Evans. To help fulfill the vision they had, Murray approached Don Tuckerman and Stanley Elkman of Elkman Advertising, which represented McDonald’s, with the idea that the company could offer the proceeds from their Shamrock Shake sales to help purchase this House that Dr. Evans envisioned as a home away from home. McDonald’s agreed, and the first Ronald McDonald House was born in Philadelphia on October 15, 1974.

Ronald McDonald House Charities West Michigan opened on March 23, 1990. The 19,000 square foot facility was designed specifically as a Ronald McDonald House. Located on five park-like acres, the House has twenty-five bedrooms with private baths; five are handicap accessible. Common rooms include a large family-style kitchen with two complete cooking areas, a dining room, great room with fireplace, sitting room, sunroom overlooking the backyard that has a playground area and walking path and children’s playhouse, a laundry room, and an indoor playroom.

Make a Difference for Those in Need

Parents don’t often know when their child will need medical care outside of their hometown. But they should know that if that happens, they have a place to stay. With your help, all families will have access to quality healthcare and a place to heal together as a family.