FAQs

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. If you can’t find your question answered under the programs below, contact us.

Is there a babysitting service?

No. Parents are required to be responsible for their own children and provide supervision at all times.

Is there maid service?

No. All families are asked to clean their room before checking out of the House. They are also expected to clean up any communal areas they use. There are washing machines and dryers available for personal use free of charge.

Do I have to bring my own linens?

No. We provide bed linens, towels and pillows. For various health-related issues we request that outside pillows and linens NOT be brought in to the House.

Can families have visitors?

Yes! Between the hours of 9am and 9pm visitors are welcome; guests must check in at the front desk and obtain a visitor’s badge. Everyone is permitted in the common areas on the lobby level and 1st floor, but visitors are not allowed in the rooms. (There is an exception if the family has an extended-stay suite.)  Let visitors know that they should not plan on coming to the House if within the last month they or any family members have been exposed to chicken pox, shingles, measles, tuberculosis, influenza, hepatitis A or any other infectious disease; or if they have any of the following symptoms: sore throat, runny nose, watery eyes, cough, fever, chills, unexplained rash, general aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

How many people can stay in each room?

The smallest rooms will sleep up to 2 people, and the largest rooms will sleep 5. Most guest rooms in the House sleep 4-5 individuals. Guests will be provided rooms based on family size and availability. Fire code regulations mean that we cannot allow additional people to stay above the number allotted to each room.

Is there a curfew?

No. The House is open 24 hours a day for families staying to come and go, and visitors are asked to respect visiting hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.).

Does the House provide counseling?

RMHC does not have formal counseling services. Many families do find support in sharing experiences with other parents and children going through similar experiences. The RMHC Hospitality Desk can provide a list of nearby Spiritual Resources, Religious Services, and other information.

Does a family have to live a certain distance from the House to stay there?

Yes. To be eligible to stay, a family must live at least 35 miles away from the Salt Lake City Ronald McDonald House.

Are only low-income families permitted to stay at the House?

No. Family income is not a consideration for staying at the House, and guests come from all walks of life. Families are invited to contribute $20 per night toward the cost of their stay, but no family is turned away because of an inability to pay.

Does the House provide food or transportation for the families?

The House has a communal kitchen stocked with staple foods where families can make a meal or snack, and a pantry stocked with basic cooking supplies. Each family also has access to cupboard and refrigerator space to store personal food items. Volunteer groups through the Adopt-A-Meal program regularly visit the kitchen to make meals for families.

RMHC provides a complimentary shuttle that takes families to and from the hospital on a set schedule. (Check with the Front Desk for times and details.)

When can I check in?

The Front Desk is staffed 24-7, so new and returning guest families may check in any time their rooms are ready. Suggested check-in hours are between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. to allow time to clean rooms, offer tours, and help with paperwork as needed. Please remember to call the morning before arrival to be placed on the waiting list, and again the morning of arrival (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.) to confirm a room will be ready for you.

s.

When can I check in?

Check-in time is by 4:00pm. Late check-in may be available and is up to the manager on duty. Families must call the day before arrive to confirm that they still need a room and must call in my 9:00am on the day of arrival to confirm that they have a room assigned to them. Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Does the House provide food or transportation for the families?

The House has a community kitchen stocked with food basics where families can make a meal or a snack and a pantry that is stocked with basic cooking supplies. Each family also has access to cupboard and refrigerator space to store a small amount of personal food. Volunteer groups through the Adopt-A-Meal program regularly visit the kitchen to make a meal for families. RMHC provides a complimentary shuttle that takes families to and from the hospital on a set schedule.

How can a family stay at the House?

New guests must have a referral from a hospital social worker where their child is being treated. Within a year of their most recent stay previous guests should call the morning before their arrival to be placed on a waiting list. Guests should call again the morning of their arrival (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. if possible) to see if a room is available. If more than a year has passed between visits to the House a new referral from a social worker is required. Advance reservations (3 weeks to six months) can be scheduled, but in all cases must be made by the family’s hospital social worker.

Is smoking permitted?

All interior spaces at RMHC, including guest bedrooms and bathrooms are smoke-free. Designated smoking areas outside of RMHC clearly marked.

What is in a guest room?

Rooms at the Ronald McDonald House have a private bathroom, one or more beds, closet space, nightstand, dresser, a desk, telephone and pull-out couch. New guest families should check-in before 9:00 p.m. if possible. Please call to make other arrangements.

Are activities planned for families in the House?

Yes. We have groups that come regularly to host a craft night, movie night, game night, and other fun events. The Hospitality Desk provides a weekly newsletter, House Happenings, that details various activities available that week. The Hospitality Desk also provides information about and free passes for family entertainment in the community.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers are vital to our organization as they assist in all areas of the House. They may work at the front desk to greet families and visitors, sort donations, help with family services, clean or organize. They may also help with events or fundraisers, cooking dinner, or sponsoring and hosting activities for guest families.

How long do families usually stay at the House?

It varies greatly, depending on the child’s illness and treatment. Stays may last several weeks to several months and even extend to a year or more. The average length of stay has increased in the last three years from three days to around six days.

How much does it cost to stay at the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House?

Families are invited to contribute $20 per night to stay at the House. It costs RMHC $80 per night to house a family, and even the minimal voluntary contribution helps with expenses. No family is ever turned away because of an inability to pay.

Who can stay at the House?

Families of seriously ill or injured children, or families with a child receiving medical treatment at one of our local hospitals, who live more than 35 miles from Salt Lake may stay at the House. Most of our families come from Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana and Colorado. However, we serve families from throughout the U.S. and world. First-time families are referred to us by social workers at the hospital. Once a family has been referred and stayed with us, they can call the House directly for future visits for up to one year from the previous stay. (See the FAQs for Families or call for more information.)

How can I support the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House?

By donating and volunteering! We could not operate the House without donations from individuals and groups. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our House – and the reason we can accomplish so much with limited resources. We have a detailed list of in-kind supplies, equipment and services that are most needed. Also check with the Volunteer Manager about the next major event we are hosting and ask how you can help!

Does McDonald’s Corporation subsidize the House?

Local McDonald’s restaurant owner/operators fund approximately 12-15% of our annual operating costs. This funding comes from in-store donation boxes, fundraisers and in-store promotions.

How is the House funded?

By generous supporters like you! Over 90 percent of our operating funds come from individuals, organizations, foundations and businesses in the Intermountain Area. It costs nearly $3 million annually to operate RMHC. The majority of that amount is raised through individual and corporate donations. These include the Share-A-Night program, RMHC-sponsored and community fundraising events, grants, will bequests, property and goods donations.

How big is the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House?

The Salt Lake House can accommodate 72 families each night, ranging from 1 or 2-person rooms up through 5-person rooms. This includes 8 extended-stay suites for families with children who are immunocompromised. The House has two complimentary laundry rooms, a large communal kitchen, great room, and many additional spaces for recreation and quiet time. The House is a short ride to local area hospitals and a shuttle is provided.

How many Ronald McDonald Houses are there?

There are more than 365 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the United States and world, with local chapters in 64 countries and regions. All operate under licensing guidelines from Ronald McDonald House Charities; however, each Ronald McDonald House is independently operated.

Who runs the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House?

RMHC has a paid staff on-site 24/7. They are supported by (amazing!) volunteers.

Who owns and operates the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House?

The House is owned and operated by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area, Inc. and is governed by a Board of Directors.

What is Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area, Inc.?

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of the Intermountain Area is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization and a chapter of the global RMHC. Our cornerstone is the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House which provides a caring home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children being treated at a Salt Lake City hospital. In addition, RMHC operates a Ronald McDonald Family Room in Primary Children’s Hospital: an in-hospital respite area for parents of pediatric patients.

What is your donor privacy policy?
  1. RMHC Purpose

The work and mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area, Inc. (RMHC) are accomplished through public trust and the generosity of others. Donor stewardship is the foundation for building trust and lasting relationships between RMHC and those who support the RMHC mission. RMHC will maintain the public trust through efficient, cost-effective, and compassionate stewardship of resources. RMHC will strive to earn and convey trust through integrity, openness, and honesty.
RMHC has a record of responsible fiscal management and program excellence and the RMHC Board of Directors has affirmed the Utah Nonprofits Association Standards of Ethics. Charitable donations provide an important and unique source of voluntary financial support for the work of RMHC. Truthfulness, donor confidentiality, and responsible stewardship are the foundations for RMHC’s fundraising. Donors entrust funds to RMHC with the confident expectation that their gifts will be managed in a fiscally responsible, ethical and timely manner. Every effort will be made to ensure that the donors’ confidence in RMHC is well placed and that all monies are expended and reported under the guidelines and within the timeframe requested by donors.

 

  1. RMHC Donor Privacy Policy
  2. Chief Executive Officer will oversee the organization and resources entrusted to RMHC by the community.
  3. RMHC will strive to act with integrity, openness, and honesty in all relationships, interactions, and transactions with its various donors and publics.
  4. RMHC honors donor privacy and will not sell, trade or lend its donor or member mailing lists for use by any other organization, and RMHC will not send mailings on behalf of other organizations.
  5. RMHC has a board-approved annual budget and written policies governing the following matters: conflict of interest; investment of assets; internal controls; and purchasing practices.
  6. RMHC’s fundraising practices are consistent with and respectful of the intent of donors and prospective donors as well as the RMHC mission and organizational capacity.
  7. RMHC’s fundraising costs will be reasonable in terms of percentage of charitable revenue spent for development. RMHC will strive to have charitable contributions from fundraising activities that are at least three times the amount spent on fundraising.
  8. RMHC will expend a minimum of 75% of its total operating expenses on program-related activities and will make its program vs. management and fundraising ratios available for the public upon request.
  9. RMHC will have an annual independent audit and will make this audit available to the general public upon request.
  10. RMHC will strive to create and provide accurate, truthful communications with donors and constituents and will not mislead or knowingly or intentionally misrepresent itself or its work.
  • RMHC will be accountable to its donors and the general public and will publish and make available an Annual Report.
  • RMHC will register for a Charitable Solicitations Permit with the State of Utah, Colorado and Arizona each year, and will respond promptly to any complaints or concerns brought to its attention by donors, the Better Business Bureau, or other interested parties.
What is the History of RMHC?

In 1985, Mountain West Friends of Hospitalized Children was founded in Salt Lake City to provide housing and support for families of children who require specialized pediatric care. In 1988, Mountain West Friends of Hospitalized Children—in partnership with the Junior League of Utah, local McDonald’s owners and several community leaders and partners— opened the first Ronald McDonald House in Utah (and the 100th Ronald McDonald House in the United States). In 1996, Mountain West Friends of Hospitalized Children changed its name to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of the Intermountain Area, Inc. Since that time, RMHC has offered a home-away-from-home for more than 70,000 families. These families have come from rural areas in Utah, surrounding states, and the world.

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974 as a result of the perseverance and dedication of Fred Hill, a tight end with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. After his daughter Kim was treated for leukemia at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Hill became determined to help the families of other children at the hospital. Very few hospitals at that time provided sufficient accommodations for such families. Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital, suggested that a “home away from home” was needed. Hill enlisted the aid of the Eagles organization and local McDonald’s operators to raise funds to purchase and renovate the first House.

Today, there are over 365 licensed Ronald McDonald Houses in 64 countries, providing temporary housing to tens of thousands of family members each year. Each RMHC chapter operates as an autonomous charitable organization – governed by a local volunteer board of trustees and supported by the local community. Approximately 78% of RMHC of the Intermountain Area’s annual revenue comes from private charitable philanthropy, 12-15% from local McDonald’s owners, and 10% from guest fees.

What is the Mission of RMHC?

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area (RMHC) surrounds families with the support they need to be near and care for their seriously ill or injured children. We provide a home-away-from-home to ease daily burdens and empower families of hospitalized children with meaningful experiences and quality time.

We offer families stability and resources so they can be together, always near their loved ones in a place that feels like home through our two core programs: the Ronald McDonald House – a home-away-from-home for families to stay close to their hospitalized child for days, weeks, months or more; and the Ronald McDonald Family Room – a place for parents to rest and regroup right at the hospital, just steps from their child’s bedside. RMHC is committed to providing exceptional programs for families with seriously ill or injured children with fiscal responsibility, accountability – and compassion.
RMHC is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. We believe that when a child is sick or injured, the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed.
RMHC allows families the ability to face the weight of illness together in close proximity to the treatment facility. By creating a comforting, supportive and healing space for families, we are able to help ease many of their day-to-day burdens so that parents can focus on what is most important — the well-being of their sick or injured child. Most importantly, our House and Family Rooms are filled with love, support and compassion.

How much does it cost to run the Ronald McDonald House?

RMHC of the Intermountain Area has a $2.8 million operating budget. This is used for maintaining and operating the Ronald McDonald Houses and its programs every day of the year.

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

Sign up for our e-newsletter to read inspiring stories from our families, keep up to date with RMHC news and stay in touch with your fellow RMHC friends and supporters.