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.

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Our House is more than just four walls.

Our People

Meet our staff and dedicated board of directors.

Our Programs

The special ways we help children and families.

Our Families

Hear personal stories and photos from our guests.

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


Expansion from 19 to 29 rooms


Family Support Programming begins

May 2011

Ronald McDonald Family Room opens at NC Children’s Hospital


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


Give Hope

Consider making a monthly-donation to the house.


The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill is one of five houses located in North Carolina affiliated with Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina and Ronald McDonald House Charities (Global). The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill is, however, a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. McDonald’s is our largest corporate donor and a portion of the annual operating costs for each Ronald McDonald House in North Carolina is graciously funded by local McDonald’s restaurants and owner/operators. The remainder of our annual operating income, approximately 95%, comes from the generosity of individuals, corporate donors and foundation grants.

McDonald’s involvement extends beyond monetary support:

– Franchisees partner with the House for promotional and fundraising events.
– McDonald’s employees are dedicated volunteers.
– Owner/operators serve on our Board each year.
– Donation boxes in McDonald’s Restaurants are the largest source of ongoing funding for RMHC Global.

Although McDonald’s is our largest corporate donor, no company can solely fund our programs and our projected growth. We need the support of the entire community and greatly value any support you can afford to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, whether it’s through cash donations, your time, your talents, spreading the word as an ambassador or fundraising efforts.


Our relationship with NC Children’s Hospital is really at the cornerstone of what we do, why we first began and why we have recently doubled in size, to accommodate the increased needs of the entire community.Approximately 99% of our families come to Chapel Hill for treatment at NC Children’s Hospital. Located just 1.3 miles away, our House provides lodging and comfort to more than 2,500 pediatric patient families each year. Like NC Children’s Hospital, we are here to serve families from all 100 counties in North Carolina, regardless of their ability to contribute financially for their care.

In May 2011, we opened a Ronald McDonald Family Room on the seventh floor of North Carolina Children’s Hospital. The Family Room allows us to extend our comfort and care to all inpatient families. Space and utilities, as well as maintenance and repair for the Ronald McDonald Family Room, are provided free of charge by the Hospital.

Working as a team, RMH staff and NC Children’s Hospital staff evaluate and address family and patient needs. RMH staff members participate in hospital committees, such as the NCCC Family Advisory Board and the Pediatric Palliative Care Committee. Several members of UNC Hospital’s administrative and clinical staff serve as Ronald McDonald House Board members each year.


0 Guest Rooms

24 added in 2015

Nearly 0

overnight stays each year

Home-cooked meals

every night