Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Ronald McDonald House?

Our Ronald McDonald Houses are a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children being treated at nearby hospitals. Rather than spending the night in a hospital waiting room, family members can stay in comfort at a Ronald McDonald House and receive support from staff, volunteers or other families that are sharing similar experiences. Facilities include private family rooms with en-suites and common kitchens, lounges, quiet rooms and play areas.

How does Ronald McDonald House Charities raise funds?

RMHC is an independent charity that has been providing essential support for seriously ill children and their families since 1981.

RMHC Australia relies on significant financial and volunteering support from the communities we work in as well as businesses, including McDonald’s Australia.

McDonald’s funded the first Ronald McDonald House 40 years ago and continues to support the charity today, alongside RMHC’s family of generous supporters.

Because RMHC Australia is a federated charity, individual Ronald McDonald Houses need to cover their own operating expenses. To meet these costs they raise funds through donations from local service clubs, local businesses, local McDonald's Licensees, special events and general fundraising activities. Funds raised by national campaigns and events, such as our national appeals and McHappy Day, are distributed between houses and programs across the country.

How can I support Ronald McDonald House Charities?

There are many ways you can help RMHC continue their support of seriously ill children. You can:

Make a donation


Other ways to support


How many Houses are there in Australia?

There are currently 18 Ronald McDonald Houses around the country.

The cornerstone of our work, Ronald McDonald Houses are located in close proximity to women's and children’s hospitals in Australia, particularly hospitals that provide specialist treatment for children. They provide a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families.

Who is eligible to stay at Ronald McDonald Houses?

Keeping the family together can be extremely tough without support, which is why we offer accommodation for parents with seriously ill children who need to travel for their child’s treatment, or for mother’s going through high risk pregnancies.

We try to accommodate the needs of families where we can, but this is always subject to availability. Priority is given to families whose children have been recently diagnosed, seriously injured or who require emergency treatment, and families traveling long distances from their home.

Each of our Ronald McDonald Houses vary in size and location, so please contact your local House to talk to our friendly staff about how they may help your family.

How can I make a booking to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

You can contact the House directly to enquire about bookings. Referrals to the House can also be made by your General Practitioner or the Medical or Social Work staff at your child's hospital. The initial enquiry is made directly to the House, where staff can assist you to complete the booking and advise you of House facilities and availability of rooms.


When I donate, where does my money go?

Funds raised are distributed between Houses and programs at a State or National level.

How can I donate?

The simplest way to support us is to make a one-off or regular donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

Make a donation

Other ways you can help


What is the relationship between the Charity and McDonald’s Australia?

RMHC is an independent charity that has been providing essential support for seriously ill children and their families in Australia since 1981.

RMHC relies on significant financial and volunteering support from many organisations, including McDonald’s Australia. McDonald’s is our Founding Mission Partner and funded the first Ronald McDonald House 40 years ago.

How does McDonald’s Support RMHC?

McDonald’s and its local franchisees provide major support to the charity’s operations so that donations can help even more families of seriously ill children in Australia.

McDonald’s Australia, their franchisees, crew and customers help by donating to the charity as well as immeasurable volunteering and fundraising assistance. 

McHappy Day is organised and funded by McDonald’s and is the largest fundraiser for RMHC Australia nationally. Since it first started in 1991, McHappy Day has raised more than $42 million for RMHC.

When was the Charity founded?

Ronald McDonald House Charities is a global charity founded in 1974 in Philadelphia, USA.

Dr Audrey Evans, an oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, had a vision for providing a place for families to live and get proper rest away from the ward while their children were undergoing treatment.

Funds to build the first House were raised by the local McDonald’s restaurant and in exchange for their support was named “Ronald McDonald House”.

Which was the first Ronald McDonald House in Australia?

The first Ronald McDonald House in Australia was opened in Camperdown, NSW in 1981 and was also made possible through the generous support of McDonald’s Restaurant franchisees.


How can I fundraise for RMHC?

If you want to help raise valuable funds for RMHC it’s easy! Some do it by putting on a sausage sizzle, others by organising bicycle rides, others by setting up trivia nights. Some choose to request donations direct to our charity, rather than receiving gifts, during their special occasions. You can fundraise with an event or you can organise an online Group Give fundraiser. We can assist you with ideas, helping you to create an event with RMHC as the benefiting charity.

I want to get involved with a RMHC fundraiser, but I don’t want to organise it myself.

There are large numbers of fundraising events taking place around Australia at any given time.

Find one that suits your preferences and location here.

How you can help

Make a donation

Support our charity or your local house


Become a volunteer

See the openings in your area