Helping Hands Program

Find, create, and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children.

For many families with a seriously-ill child, having the ability to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their child receives treatment directly across the street at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides a source of relief. Families are asked to contribute $20 per night; however, no family is ever turned away due to inability to pay. The actual cost to provide our services is $100 per room, per night. The average amount collected from families in 2018 was $6.99 per night due to their mounting medical bills and other financial issues. In an effort to support our families and alleviate stresses induced by their child’s illness we have established the Helping Hands Program. The Helping Hands Program helps close the gap between what families are able to donate and what it actually costs by making up the difference through a temporarily restricted fund. Funds will be released from the account according to the amount of partial paid nights and "no pay" nights for families.

Our goal is to provide nights of rest for families of seriously-ill hospitalized children. Through support from the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant in the amount of $25,000, we will have the ability to provide nearly 1,250 nights of rest to families. In the past five years families from all of the 88 counties in Ohio have utilized the services provided by the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. Early mornings and long days in a hospital are tiring and stressful on a family with a seriously-ill child, adding the long travel time increases this stress. For these families, staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their child is receiving treatment is a necessity. Most families come from central and southeastern Ohio, but we also accept families from across the country and around the world. The medical condition of the child and the specialized care offered by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals often dictate the population of our families.

For families facing economic hardships, knowing there is a designated fund to support their stay provides families with a financial relief allowing them to focus on the successful recovery of their child. If the Ronald McDonald House were not available these families would have the options of expensive hotel rooms, commuting back and forth from home to the hospital, or worst yet, sleeping in their cars or on hospital sofas. Early morning and long days in a hospital are tiring and stressful on the family with a seriously-ill child, adding long travel time increases this stress. In 2018, the Columbus Ronald McDonald House provided this service to over 4,500 families with seriously-ill children. For families who arrive via the emergency room, personal care items are available in every room. At the Ronald McDonald House we help families who are stressed over medical decisions and the astronomical costs of prolonged medical treatment.