Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Maine (RMHC of Maine) creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children statewide; provides affordable home away from home lodging which increases access to medical care for families of children receiving treatment; and supports a Family Room where families find respite at the hospital.
We believe when you change a child’s life you change a family’s, which can change a community and ultimately the world.
As pioneers of providing family-centered care, RMHC strives to be part of the solution in improving the lives of children and their families, providing programs that strengthen families during difficult times.
Through the strong network of RMHC Chapters around the world collectively, we are able to identify needs and carry out the RMHC mission locally. However, we cannot do it alone. We rely on our strong relationships with the medical community to provide access to health care. We rely on the RMHC Mission Partner, McDonald’s; including the corporation, owner/operators, suppliers and customers, as well as other important corporate partnerships. Additionally, we rely on strategic alliances with organizations that have the knowledge and infrastructure to extend our reach. Most of all, we rely on you – our donors, volunteers, staff and friends.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through its global network of over 290 Chapters in more than 63 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children’s programs worldwide, RMHC provides compassionate care and resources to children and families being served by leading hospitals worldwide. RMHC programs provide access to quality health care and enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their child’s care. For more information, visit rmhc.org.
What began as one family’s misfortune became good fortune for millions of families worldwide. In 1974, Kim Hill, the 3-year old daughter of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill, was diagnosed with leukemia. During Kim’s three years of treatment, Fred and his wife Fran often camped out on hospital chairs and benches and ate makeshift meals out of vending machines. The Hills watched other parents around them doing the same thing. They learned that many of the families traveled great distances to bring their children to the hospital, but couldn’t afford hotel rooms.
The Hills began to think that there had to be a solution. Fred rallied the support of his Eagles teammates to raise funds and help other families experiencing the same emotional and financial traumas as his own. Through Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, the team offered its support to Dr. Audrey Evans, head of the pediatric oncology unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Evans dreamed of a home-like temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital.
Together, they created the first Ronald McDonald House.
That first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. By 1979, ten more Houses had opened. By 1984, McDonald’s restaurants and local communities founded 60 more Houses; then 53 more opened by 1989. Today, there are more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world.
RMHC of Maine History
RMHC of Maine is comprised of two Ronald McDonald House programs, one in Bangor and one in Portland, the Ronald McDonald Family Room located in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities Grants Program. We are owned and operated by RMHC of Maine, a non-profit Maine corporation whose board consists of representatives from our community including parents, leaders, local McDonald’s Owner/Operators, medical professionals and other interested individuals.
The Bangor House, the 30th Ronald McDonald House, opened its doors on December 16, 1983 and has 14 bedrooms. The House was founded through the steadfast efforts of Marjie Harris, Judy Collier, Anita Peavey Haskell, Jim Coffey, Dr. Demetrius Traggis, and Benita Deschaine. Former Governor Joseph Brennan deeded the property to Ronald McDonald House of Bangor in a public ceremony. After months of renovations by John Rohman and WBRC Architects and Engineers of Bangor the house that love built opened its doors.
The Portland House, the 70th Ronald McDonald House, opened its doors in 1995 thanks to a diverse group of community leaders banded together, known as Stand by Me. In 2005, it was evident that the 15 bedrooms were not enough, and expansion to 21 bedrooms followed from the work of the Thaxter Company and Scott Simons Architects. Together, our Houses became a home-away-from-home and serve more than 2,000 pediatric families annually. The supportive environment at each of our Houses, offered through dedicated volunteers, staff and other residents, provides comfort and care to those who supply the love, understanding, nurturing and emotional support essential for their child’s recovery from illness or injury.