Many families have to travel far from home to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. Hospital treatment can last one day, one month or even longer. A Ronald McDonald House keeps families together when they need it most by offering them a comfortable, temporary residence in proximity to a medical facility. Each Ronald McDonald House provides a warm, supportive alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable hospital waiting rooms.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine provides support to Maine’s two Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland and in Bangor.
The Ronald McDonald House of Portland
The Portland Ronald McDonald House is located at 250 Brackett Street in Portland’s West End. Since 1995, The Board of Directors, Maine McDonald’s Owner/Operators, community leaders, volunteers and staff have devoted themselves to providing a home away from home for up to twenty-one families each night while their critically ill children seek medical attention at nearby hospitals.
There families find a warm smile from a friendly volunteer, a home-cooked meal after a long day at the hospital, a good night’s sleep in a caring environment and a place where families support each other through a most difficult time.
To learn more about the Ronald McDonald House of Portland log on to www.rmhportlandme.org or call (207) 780-6282.
The Ronald McDonald House of Bangor
The Ronald McDonald House of Bangor celebrates its 25th Anniversary in December 2007. Located at 654 State Street in Bangor, this fourteen bedroom House is a home away from home for approximately 450 families of ill children receiving medical treatment each year.
Founded in 1983, “the house that love built”® helps people in Maine with comfortable short-term residential accommodations during their medical crisis. Family ties are strengthened and emotional support is offered among families sharing the trauma of serious illnesses while undergoing treatment in nearby medical facilities. The Board of Directors is continually looking for ways to reach out to families in their time of need.
In addition, the Bangor Ronald McDonald House Extensions Program provides services beyond housing to families being treated for cancer or blood disorders. These services include respite opportunities, emergency funds and communications support.
Bangor’s Ronald McDonald House, is the product of the effort, energy and caring of local volunteers, parents and business leaders, and the owners of McDonald’s Restaurants in Maine.
If you are interested in helping us accomplish our mission, please call them at (207) 942-9003.
History of the Ronald McDonald House
When Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill’s 3-year-old daughter, Kim, was being treated for leukemia in 1974, his life changed. He and his wife, Fran, camped out on hospital benches and sat in cramped waiting rooms during Kim’s three years of treatment. The Hills watched other parents and families of seriously ill children do the same thing. Many of the families had to travel long distances for their children to receive medical treatment and couldn’t afford hotel rooms.
The House That Love Built
The Hills knew there had to be a solution. Fred rallied the support of his teammates to raise funds. 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. Evans dreamed of a comfortable temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital.
Jim enlisted Don Tuckerman from the local McDonald’s advertising agency, who with the support of McDonald’s Regional Manager Ed Rensi, launched the St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake (dubbed the Shamrock Shake) promotion. Funds raised helped purchase an old house located near the hospital.
And this is how the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. The network of Houses quickly grew after that:
- By 1979, 10 more Houses opened.
- Local communities founded 60 more Houses by 1984.
- After Ronald McDonald House Charities was founded in 1984, 53 more opened by 1989. Today, 271 Ronald McDonald Houses in 30 countries and regions support families around the world.
- The program has provided comfort to more than 10 million families for more than 30 years.