FAQFrequently Asked Questions



About Us

Who funds Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine?

Generous supporters like you! The majority of our operating funds come from individuals and corporate donors. While we ask families to pay $10 per night, this fee is often waived completely for families. These fees cover approximately 2% of our operating costs and the remaining 98% is generated through donations and fundraising activities — so you can see that your support is needed.

What's the relationship between RMHC and the McDonald's Corporation?

The Ronald McDonald House Portland, Ronald McDonald House Bangor, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Grant Awards are signature programs of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine.

Ronald McDonald House Charities has been McDonald’s “charity of choice” for 35 years.

We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, but McDonald’s is our largest corporate donor. Portions of the annual operating costs for RMHC Maine are graciously funded by McDonald’s and owner/operators of local McDonald’s restaurants. The remainder of our annual operating income comes from the generosity of individual and corporate donors.

McDonald’s involvement extends beyond monetary support:

  • Franchises partner with local Chapters for promotional and fundraising events.
  • McDonald’s employees are dedicated volunteers.
  • Owner/operators participate in local and global RMHC boards.
  • RMHC donation boxes hosted in restaurants are the largest source of ongoing RMHC Global fundraising.

Are all Ronald McDonald Houses the same?

All Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the world share a common purpose to provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving medical care at nearby hospitals. Programs and eligibility requirements will vary from house to house.

How can I support the Portland and Bangor Ronald McDonald Houses?

By donating and volunteering! We could not operate the Houses without donations from individuals and groups. Our volunteers help keep our operating costs low – and are the reason we can accomplish so much with such a small staff.

How many Ronald McDonald Houses are there?

There are two in Maine and 347 worldwide.

How many families can the Ronald McDonald House accommodate?

The Portland House can accommodate up to 21 families each night, and the Bangor House can accommodate up to 14 families each night.  

Who runs the Ronald McDonald House?

Board of Directors provide oversight and guidance to the Houses.  The Portland House is staffed by 6 full time employees, 1 part time employee and more than 300 volunteers.  The Bangor House is staffed by two full-time and one part-time employee and is  supported by 150 dedicated volunteers.



Can I work with children?

Most often, it is the families of the seriously ill or injured children staying with us, not the patient themselves. Occasionally, children stay with us on an outpatient basis and during school breaks we may have siblings at the House. During these times volunteers are able to play games or do craft activities with them, but there is no guarantee that children will be in the House while volunteers are working.

How can I get my business involved with RMHC?

Let us customize your company’s volunteer and giving experience. Contact Bangor House Manager, Whitney, at  207-942-9003; or Portland House Manager, Ray, at 207-780-6282.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers are vital to keeping our doors open to families. Volunteers greet visitors, answer phones,  and help guest families check in and out of the House. They also organize fundraisers, cook dinners and provide support at fundraising events.


Staying With Us

Who can stay at the Ronald McDonald House?

Families of seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment at a nearby medical facility may qualify to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

Portland House:  Towns considered for Day Use include: Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Portland/South Portland, Westbrook and Yarmouth. All other towns are eligible to stay Overnight including the islands. Please see our housing eligibility guidelines.

Bangor House: There are no town restrictions.

How much does it cost to stay at the Ronald McDonald House?

Although it costs on average $75 a night, we ask families to pay $10 per night, but the fee is often waived or reduced for families who cannot afford it.

How close is the House to the hospital?

Portland House: Maine Medical Center is three blocks ,Maine Children’s Cancer Program is 6 miles, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook is a 4.5 miles, and the Mercy NEEDS program is a half mile.
Bangor House: Eastern Maine Medical Center is 3/4 of a mile, Acadia Hospital is 2 miles  Cancer Care of Maine  is 5 miles, and Elizabeth Levinson Center is .6 miles.

Are reservations accepted and what happens when the House is full?

Portland House: No, we do not accept reservations, but we do keep a waiting list. We always do our best to accommodate as many families as possible on a first come first served basis. However, we frequently receive more requests than we have rooms available.  As rooms become available during the day and other families check out, families are notified of any openings.

Bangor House: Families who meet the eligibility requirements and have a proper medical referral in place will be accommodated at the Ronald McDonald House.

What can families expect when they arrive at the Ronald McDonald House?

After a family is referred by a hospital social worker or case manager and it is determined that the House has rooms available, they must check-in with House staff or volunteers. During this check-in process, they receive a brief introduction, review House policies and procedures and take a quick tour. A Ronald McDonald House representative will also show them their room and room key card. After this orientation, families are able to return to the hospital, relax in their room, enjoy a meal or spend time in any of the common areas within the House.

Why would a family stay at Ronald McDonald House if they could stay at a hotel?

Ronald McDonald Houses provides a “home away from home” for families in a clean, affordable, comfortable and supportive environment close to the hospital.

Does the House provide meals for the families?

The Houses both have a communal kitchen and pantry of non-perishable foods that are offered free to families. Families have a shared refrigerator designated for their personal items and cupboard where their food can be stored. In addition, the majority of nights our Guest Chef Program prepares dinner for the entire House.

Are there televisions in the guest rooms?

No. However, we encourage families to use any of the televisions and DVD players available in the common areas of the House. A selection of videos and DVD’s are available free of charge.

How many people can stay in a room?

On average, four occupants is permitted.

Can a family stay at the House if they have a child older than 21 or an adult relative in the hospital?

No. To qualify to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, the family must have a child 21 years old or younger receiving medical care at the hospital.

Who do I contact if I know a family that needs to stay at Ronald McDonald House?

To stay at a Ronald McDonald House, a family must be referred by a hospital social worker/case manager. To find who is assigned to the patient, please contact the hospital directly.

Can flowers, packages, and gift baskets be sent to a family staying at the House?

Yes. We accept deliveries during normal business hours and will be happy to forward them to the family. Because families sometimes check-out unexpectedly, it is best to call and confirm that they are still staying at the House before sending anything.

Does the House provide counseling?

There is no professional counseling program.  Families often find support from staff, volunteers and other families going through similar experiences.

Can families have visitors?

Visitors are welcome, but must sign in at the front desk and vacate the House by 9 PM each night. The children living at Ronald McDonald House are medically fragile and highly susceptible to infections. Any person who could endanger the health of our other guests who have been exposed to the flu, chickenpox, etc. should not visit the House.

Do I have to bring my own towels and sheets?

We do provide linens and towels for each room and ask that all personal pillows and linens are left home.

Is there maid service?

No. We ask families to keep their rooms clean and do their own dishes and laundry. Families are asked to clean their room before checking out of the House. They are also expected to clean up any communal areas they use.

Is there babysitting service?

No. Parents are required to be responsible for their own children and provide supervision at all times.

What is in a guest room?

Portland House: Rooms have either twin or queen-sized beds, closet space, alarm clock, dresser, and telephone.  The majority of rooms offer private baths.  Air beds and Pack-n-Plays are also available.

Bangor House:  Rooms have either twin or double sized beds, closet space, alarm clock, and dresser. Some rooms have cribs. We also have portacribs and playpens available.

Is smoking permitted in the House?

There is no smoking anywhere in the House. There are designated smoking spaces outside and away from the entrances.

Is there a curfew?

The House is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year for families staying here to come and go. Quiet hours are between 10 pm and 8 am.