When life becomes unrecognizable and uncertain, that’s where Hope lives.

We are here to care for families in life-altering moments, days and months that children spend in area hospitals. The House offers physical comfort and emotional support through programs dedicated to the well-being of the whole family. A child in medical crisis or suffering serious injury is something a family can never fully fathom, let alone prepare for.

The House embraces parents and children coming to us in dark hours filled with fears. Yet no matter the medical diagnosis or unknown ailments that bring families through our doors, we provide Hope around every corner. Hope in knowing their family is not alone anymore, comforted by the support of a loving community. Hope that comes from walking in the same shoes.

  • House Interior
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Bedroom
  • Living Area
  • Living Space
  • Kitchen
  • Common Area
  • Exterior
  • Common Area
  • Interior
  • Play Room

Our House is more than just four walls.


Our staff and board of directors

Meet Our People

Special ways we help children and families

Learn About Our Programs
Meet Our Families

Personal stories and photos from our guests

Meet Our Families
Our People

Our People

Meet our staff and dedicated board of directors.

Meet our People

Our Programs

Our Programs

The special ways we help children and families.

Learn about our Programs
Our Families

Our Families

Hear personal stories and photos from our guests.

Meet Our Families

History of the House

  • History of the House
  • History of the House
  • History of the House
  • History of the House

In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia thanks to Dr. Audrey Evans, Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill (whose daughter Kim had leukemia), Eagles general manager Jim Murray, and Ed Rensi, McDonald’s regional manager. The McDonald’s owner/operators in Philadelphia made the House possible, donating proceeds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes. In 1984, Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities was officially established in memory of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, a strong advocate for children. The name changed to Ronald McDonald House Charities in 1996.

The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill serves families from across the state of North Carolina, the U.S. and even foreign countries. Families staying at the House not only enjoy amenities like those found in their own home, but also the support of other families experiencing similar struggles. In the comfort and quiet provided here they are able to relax and unwind after a long, stressful day at the hospital.

  • April 15, 1988

    The House opens to our first family

  • 2001

    Expansion from 19 to 29 rooms

  • 2005

    Family Support Programming begins

  • May 2011

    Ronald McDonald Family Room opens at NC Children’s Hospital

  • 2015

    Expansion adds 24 rooms, apartment style suites, one acre courtyard


Give Hope

Consider making a monthly-donation to the house.

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NC Children's Hospital
2000 families served annually
home-cooked meals every night
52 guest rooms added in 2015