Focus On Togetherness

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati helps families of critically ill children feel at home for the holidays.

For many people, the holiday season is filled with relaxation, celebrations and familial comfort.  No one wants to experience the heartbreak of seeing a family member, and especially not a child, suffer during the holidays or be away from home. This is when organizations like the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati (RMH) truly shine in their commitment to families in their community. 

“Being away from home over the holidays is incredibly difficult for our guest families,” Chief Marketing Officer for RMH Cincinnati, Kristen Klein, describes. “For many of them, the time and expense of caring for a critically ill child means that shopping for presents simply won’t happen.”

Parents staying at RMH Cincinnati during the holiday season are provided a shopping experience where they can select toys, games, pajamas and other items for their children. Chosen items are wrapped and delivered on Christmas Eve. Special meals and activities are also provided for guest families throughout the holidays. 

The Mason and Deerfield communities are among the top areas in the city supporting Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House. 

“They have gotten involved in so many creative ways: School groups have collected pop tabs; businesses have hosted wish list drives, fundraisers and sponsored events; and many people have provided generous financial support,” Kristen details. 

Mason resident Erick Schmidt, shares why he is a RMH Cincinnati donor, “As a father of three, I can’t imagine one of my children going through something as scary and physically taxing as treatment for a serious illness, and not being able to be there with them,” says Erick. “People travel from all over to come to Cincinnati Children’s and the Ronald McDonald House provides them with a loving place to stay that is in close proximity to the hospital.”

Mason businesses like Makino, have also connected with how well RMH aligns with their commitment to supporting their community of families. “Being a good neighbor, providing families with comforts of home, so they can focus on their child and their journey of care is important to our employees and a cultural component of our company,” says Kimberly A. Carroll, director of marketing at Makino. “The Makino Foundation is so pleased to be a part of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House opened in November 1982 from a grassroots effort among the Children’s Oncology Parent Endeavor and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In November 2020 they opened a new $46 million expansion, including a six-story, 177-room tower. It is currently the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. 

“This expansion has enabled us to eliminate our wait list so that when a family needs us, we can immediately welcome them,” Kristen explains. 

Families are not asked to pay to live at the House, although donations are welcome. Those living in the House are provided with a private bedroom and bathroom, meals, free laundry, activities and most importantly, a comfortable place to stay located near their child’s care team at the hospital. 

“We want to take all the everyday stressors away so families can just focus on being together and caring for their critically ill child,” Kristen says. 

RMH Cincinnati hopes to return to in-person fundraising events in 2022, with a golf outing at Kenwood Country Club in June and the return of their Red Tie Gala in the fall. Details about both events will be available soon on their website. Those interested can also find an Amazon wish list for items that can be sent directly to the House, volunteering opportunities for the Taste of Hope meal program and more on RMHCincinnati.org.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati

341 Erkenbrecher Ave, Cincinnati

513.559.4600, RMHCincinnati.org

“We want to take all the everyday stressors away so families can just focus on being together and caring for their critically ill child,” Kristen says. 

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