The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families. We accomplish this this by providing a "home away from home" for families while their children are receiving medical treatment. This includes:
The four Ronald McDonald House Charities programs in Kansas City are:
On any given night, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City serves 87 families with sick children.
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, families face emotional distress, financial strains and many other devastating consequences. Because of Ronald McDonald House Charities, families are not forced to spend their days and nights in a crowded waiting room or in the isolation of expensive hotel rooms. Instead, they come “home” to our Houses and Family Room and find a friendly face, a home-cooked meal, a comfortable bed, a hot shower and a calming place to rejuvenate. Instead of focusing on these worries, families can be close to their medically fragile child.
The First of Its Kind: In 1973, Philadelphia Eagles football player, Fred Hill, and his wife, Fran, learned that their daughter, Kim, had leukemia. While traveling into Philadelphia for treatment, they met other families with sick children in a similar situation. Families, who drove hours to the hospital to be with their children, were sleeping overnight in waiting room chairs and eating from vending machines because they had nowhere else to go. Fred Hill and his football team decided to build these families a ‘home away from home’. The Philadelphia Eagles teamed up with local McDonald's owner/operators to raise money to purchase and restore a house near the hospital where these families could stay. Hence, the first Ronald McDonald House was born. Since that time, over 350 Houses have been built worldwide.
our Houses and Family Room provided temporary lodging for nearly 5,500
families; our Family Room also provided rest and respite for over 57,000 family
members and visitors of in-patient children at Children's Mercy Hospital. The
average length of a family stay was eight days, but treatments for some
children required families to stay with us for three, six or even more months.
By providing the comforts of home, warm meals and other supportive services to
parents of sick children, we are a key member of Kansas City’s pediatric
medical community. Instead of focusing on these worries, families can be near
to and provide comfort for their medically fragile child, which studies have
shown can have a positive effect on the child’s recovery.
Our top 5 pressing needs:
The greatest challenge – and opportunity - we face at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City continues to be the sweeping impact of our mission to reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families. Each of us has a personal experience with childhood illness, whether that is through a friend, colleague, family member or our own children.
Our services are brilliant in their simplicity. By providing a home-cooked meal, a hot shower, a warm bed and a safe, welcoming environment close to pediatric health care, we are able to lessen some of the most basics needs of a family in crisis.
As the Kansas City healthcare community continues to be recognized as national leader, the need for RMHC-KC only continues to grow. Prior to our recent expansion, we turned away more than 1,000 families per year. The Board is vigilantly monitoring our capacity and area hospitals’ growth plans to appropriately support families who come here for care.
I became involved with RMHC-KC as one of the thousands of visitors to the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Children’s Mercy Hospital. During my daughter’s first hospital stay in 2001, my husband and I took a few brief breaks and ate volunteer-cooked meals in the Family Room. We had no idea that by 2015, we would be regulars in the Family Room during our daughter’s countless hospital admissions. RMHC would become our family, and we would become theirs.
It’s essential that our families who come to Kansas City during the crisis of a childhood illness are able to still function as a family. They should be able to stay together, eat together, play together and heal together.
Together, the three Ronald McDonald Houses (Cherry Street House, Longfellow House and Wylie House) provide temporary lodging to 80 families each night while their children undergo vital medical care within the Kansas City area. In 2015, 58% of our families were from Kansas, 36% were from Missouri and 6% traveled to the Kansas City metro area from other states so their child could receive medical care. All three Houses offer a warm and welcoming environment, private guest rooms and bathrooms, well-stocked kitchens and pantries, laundry rooms and all supplies, living rooms and indoor and outdoor recreation areas to provide a homey environment where families may relax away from the stresses of the hospital and meet other families experiencing similar crises. The Longfellow House has 12 guest suites that also include private kitchenettes and living rooms in addition to their bedroom and bathroom. These guestrooms provide additional space and amenities to children with suppressed immune systems and their families.
Allow Children to Get the Best Care - When your child is sick, you want the best care possible – even if it is hundreds or thousands of miles away. Ronald McDonald Houses allow families to access specialized medical treatment by providing a place to stay at little or sometimes no cost. Families are stronger when they are together, which helps in the healing process. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents can better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. It allows them to focus on the health of their child, rather than grocery shopping, cleaning or cooking meals.
Long-term success is to provide what sick children need the most ... their families. Our facilities, along with caring staff and volunteers, create a safe and comfortable environment where children and their parents can relax and receive support away from the stresses of a hospital setting. RMHC-KC makes every effort to meet all of the lodging and support needs of children and families coming to Kansas City for care.
The Family Room is a smaller version of our Ronald McDonald House. Located inside of Children's Mercy Hospital, it provides overnight lodging and respite for any family from the metro area or those traveling to Kansas City, whose child is in the Neonatal Intensive Care or Pediatric Intensive Care Unites. More than 60 percent of families served in the Family Room are Kansas Citians within a six county metropolitan area (i.e. Jackson, Platte, Cass, Clay, Wyandotte and Johnson counties). The Family Room has a large living area, fully stocked kitchen, patio, quiet room, small private bedrooms and laundry and shower facilities for families of any in-patient child to access for relaxation, naps or to visit with friends and family.
When families walk into a Ronald McDonald Family Room, we want them to forget they’re in a hospital. Often steps away from a pediatric or intensive care unit, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms offer a place to rest and regroup right at the hospital, just steps away from their sick child. Research shows that a family presence in the hospital helps children heal and cope better. Staying close by allows parents to better communicate with their child’s medical team and improves adherence to complicated treatment plans. The Family Room provided temporary overnight lodging for 2,081 families; our Family Room provided respite for nearly 58,000 family and visitors of CMH inpatients.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City has been serving families of sick children for 35 years, and our need grows with each passing year. Between our three Houses and Family Room program, RMHC-KC hosts 87 families each night, most with children facing a serious medical crisis.
As partners in enabling family-centered care, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City strives to be part of the solution in impacting the lives of sick children and their families by providing services that strengthen families during difficult times.
When children must travel long distances to access top medical care, accommodations for families can be expensive or not readily available. Our Ronald McDonald House and Family Room programs help families stay close to their ill or injured children, increasing the caregivers’ ability to spend more time with their child, to interact with their clinical care team, and to participate in the critical medical care decisions.
Since inception, parents have shared with us in their own words how Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City has impacted their lives. Now published research underscores the role we play in keeping families together during times of medical crisis. A global team of researchers from around the country as well as top medical centers have collaborated with RMHC nationally to evaluate the impact of our programs. To date, the research has produced 10 published studies, presentations at professional meetings and advanced important new areas of understanding about our role in the community and the availability of accommodations in enabling family-centered care. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City has actively participated in these impact study projects.
When families face the uncertainty of childhood illness, we want to be there every time. One key challenge we continue to face in Kansas City is the high demand for our services. Opening the 20-bedroom Wylie House last year alleviated our waiting list for now, but expected future growth in critical pediatric care will likely challenge our ability to meet the future’s anticipated need.
Tami Greenberg has been the
CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kansas City since July 2015. Previously she served as the President of the
Mid America Chapter of the National MS Society, and the Senior VP of Strategy
Development and Human Capital for United Way of Greater Kansas City. Her earlier nonprofit experience includes
roles at Good Samaritan Project, The Children’s Place, and the CASA Project.
Tami has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She is a 2007 graduate of the Centurions leadership development program, and served for 2 years on the Centurions Alumni Board. In 2013 she completed the Kansas City Tomorrow program of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. She served as a member of the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet in Kansas City Missouri, and chaired the Resources Committee. Tami was profiled in the Kansas City Star’s 2013 Thanksgiving cover story, “Saying thanks in 40 ways”, was recognized as a 2015 Woman of Influence by Kansas City Business magazine, and as a 2015 NextGen Leader by the Kansas City Business Journal.
April Hudson joined Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City as the Programs & Operations Director in February 2011. During her tenure at RMHC-KC April has increased occupancy rates in the House programs by 15%, expanded programming for guest families and supervised two major construction projects: a renovation of the Family Room program, located inside Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the construction of a third House, a 20-bedroom facility. Additionally she has facilitated several large capital projects including replacement of a failed geothermal heating and cooling system, an 80+ window replacement project, a 5,000 square foot basement remodel, and 11 bathroom remodels in our 28 year old House.
Prior to working for RMHC-KC April spent the past 15 years in the non-profit sector in the areas of domestic violence and child welfare. Prior to joining RMHC-KC, April managed all aspects of two residential programs, including supervision of 40 employees and coordinating facility maintenance. April earned her Bachelor’s degree at Fort Hays State University in western Kansas.
Mike Jeffries joined RMHC-KC as the Director of Development in November 2015. His past experience in nonprofit leadership is extensive, holding the Executive Director position at the American Diabetes Association and a State Director position at the March of Dimes. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University Central Missouri. He currently sits on the Stormont-Vail Community Advisory Board.
relies on important collaborative support each year through new business
development, Board of Director contacts/outreach, our Advisory Board, and through successful marketing and communications efforts. Our
mission is strong and easily understood, making our story easy to share and
implement with the help of others.
RMHC-KC is independently governed and develops individual relationships with local McDonald's owner/operators. These owners wholeheartedly support the charity by personally providing financial, volunteer and in-kind support. This includes the placement of donation boxes in each restaurant, making it easy for the community to support families facing medical crisis. Overall, funds that collected by local restaurants contribute between 18-20% of our annual operating budget. We value our long-standing partnership with McDonald's as well as the support we receive from the entire community to help us fulfill our mission.
RMHC-KC also partners with area medical professionals to support families facing childhood illness. More than 90% of our referrals are generated by Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the remaining 10% are from the University of Kansas Hospital, St. Luke’s Health Systems, the Rehabilitation Institute, Overland Park Regional Hospital, etc.
team is comprised of 42 full and part-time talented individuals. Four senior
directors report to the CEO to ensure smooth and accountable business
operations. They include a Programs & Operations Director, Development
Director, Marketing and Communications Director and Administrative Director. All
other staff report to these key positions. RMHC-KC prides itself on offering
high quality services for families in crisis, and is viewed as a leader throughout
the Ronald McDonald House Charities worldwide network. Each year staff
participates on national committees and present at local and national
conferences on best practices for operating, marketing, development and
governance strategies employed.
Our Board of Directors' essential duties include governance and fiduciary responsibilities, in addition to raising resources to fund the mission. Board expectations of personal giving, donor stewardship, event attendance and committee participation are in place. The board’s executive committee is comprised of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer/Secretary, and Chairs of the Development, Programs, and Operations Committees. One hundred percent of board members give financially, and are expected to make a personal gift of at least $1,000 each year. They are also expected to participate on at least one committee and attend RMHC-KC fundraising events. Last year the board generated about $235,000 in corporate gifts (top company gift was $113,000) and $96,000 in personal gifts (top individual board member gift was $21,000). The average board member personal gift was $5,353.
While Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City cannot cure a child, we do provide a home where a family can find respite and an environment to rejuvenate. Studies conclude that close proximity to the hospital, facilitated by programs such as a Ronald McDonald House, provides important benefits for the family experience, psychological well-being, and perceptions of child recovery (Franck et al., Families, Systems, & Health – 2013). Each day, 87 families benefit from staying at one of Kansas City’s four program locations. Kansas City’s Board of Directors, comprised of 21 talented and dedicated leaders, assume an important role of board governance, fundraising and ensuring sound business practices to ensure that our mission for families is possible.
In partnership with the staff, the Board built a new 2016-2018 strategic plan, with the pillars of Mission, Money, Brand and People. Strategic goals for the next three years include: 1) Assessing the need for additional RMHC-KC programs in this area; 2) Creating a master facilities plan for our campus; 3) Generating sustainable revenue to support operations, growth and innovation; 4) Enhancing the RMHC-KC brand; 5) Providing a "best in class" volunteer experience; and 6) Demonstrating an "employer of choice" workplace culture.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Ronald McDonald House Charities - Kansas City has an impeccable record of
stewardship of dollars contributed to its mission since it was incorporated in
1979. Over our 35-year history, the charity has worked hard to maintain a
committed donor base, and simultaneously grow new opportunities. Individuals, corporations
and foundations have been generous and continue to give as the demand for our
We are also fortunate to also have a blend of investments that include a permanently restricted endowment. In 2015, the Board reviewed its strategy for our investments and empowerment that includes cash reserves, capital improvement, and endowment growth to ensure the longevity and strength of the charity well into the future.
Five years ago the Charity established Tomorrow’s Hope Legacy Society with an aim to continue to strengthen the mission with giving opportunities. Generous donors who thoughtfully include Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, Inc. in their estate plans are considered members of Tomorrow’s Hope Legacy Society. Legacy Society members continue our tradition of committed people serving others, while ensuring our strength, well into the future. Qualifying gifts include bequests, charitable trusts, annuities, remainder interests in property, retirement plan assets and IRAs, survivorship designations and life insurance. Legacy Society members with a minimum gift valued at $10,000 will receive recognition in the form of whimsical acrylic stained glass hearts, dedicated in their names.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130, Kansas City, Missouri 64105
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