COVID-19 Update: How You Can Help Families

As news and information on the COVID-19 crisis evolves, please continue to check this page for the latest updates from the Charity and how you can join our effort to help families get better together.

April 6 Update

  • Services at our Houses remain stable and we continue to serve families on a daily basis, including providing meals each day thanks to generous donations from individuals and corporate partners.
  • To protect the health and safety of our community, we’re changing the way we hold our Annual Gala, and we’re inviting our entire community to get involved. Everyone is welcome to join in the Un-Gala now through May 2 at our website or on social media for inspirational stories, fun activities, and exciting special guests all to help us raise $1 million to support families. Now, more than ever, we need you!

March 24 Update

  • Following Gov. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order on Friday, March 20, we have suspended all on-site volunteer activities until further notice for the safety and comfort of families staying at our Houses, as well as the safety of our volunteers, staff, and community. This includes all individual volunteers at our Houses and Family Room locations.
  • We continue to work closely with our local hospital partners as we monitor any changes to city, state, and federal guidelines, as well recommendations from RMHC Global, to help guide and inform our decisions.
  • We continue to serve families whose children are hospitalized or in active treatment. In order to more effectively meet families’ needs, we are consolidating resources across our Houses and Family Rooms. Working in concert with our hospital partners, we have temporarily closed the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola University Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms inside UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and Edward Hospital, and have moved affected families to nearby Ronald McDonald Houses. Please note that families will not experience any interruption to the services they receive with this change.

How You Can Help

You can support our efforts to provide essential services to families in one of three ways:

  1. Make a financial donation today.
  2. Purchase restaurant gift certificates and mail them to any of our House locations.
  3. Cater a meal for families by visiting our Meals from the Heart page and selecting an available date from the calendars for each location.

We are grateful for the outpouring of community support during the past week and appreciate the many ways in which so many of you have rallied around our families in their time of need.

March 16 Update

As we navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where families with hospitalized children can get better together. We continue to monitor the fast-changing facts and information with great concern and have been in close contact with our global RMHC team to ensure a proactive and unified response.

Please continue reading for an update on how we are serving families and how you can help us continue to provide essential services during this health crisis.

Ronald McDonald Houses & Ronald McDonald Family Rooms

Each of our Chicagoland Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are open and continue to keep families together. We are working closely with our hospital partners to ensure a safe and sanitary environment that protects the health of families, employees, volunteers, visitors, or others to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and beyond.

Meals from the Heart

Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the proactive decision to suspend Meals from the Heart, Culinary Hearts, Cookies from the Heart, Family Activity Program, and Pet Therapy volunteerism. The suspension of Meals from the Heart volunteerism means that groups who so graciously provide daily meals for families will no longer be able to do so in person.

How You Can Help

1. Make a Financial Gift: We will use these donations to purchase meals and other basic needs for 162 families staying at our Chicagoland Houses and Family Rooms. By purchasing food and items ourselves, we will dramatically reduce the number of visitors and delivery folks to our facilities, further reducing risk to families.

Make a Gift Today


2. Restaurant Gift Cards: Gift cards enable our team to purchase warm meals for up to 162 families staying at our house each day while minimizing risk to families and staff.  Gift cards can be sent directly to any of our Houses.

3. Cater a Meal: We are committed to providing families with safe, fresh lunches and dinners. Consider sending a catered meal from a local restaurant for families to enjoy after a long day at the hospital. Contact Brittany Wright, Director of Volunteer Services at [email protected] to identify a date on which one of our locations could benefit from a catered meal.

While we do not yet know how long these changes will remain in effect, we will continue to evaluate the impact of the situation on our organization as the health and safety of our families, employees, and volunteers remains our top priority.

As a reminder, the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

We are incredibly grateful for your support which will help families focus on what’s most important: their children.


With Gratitude,
Holly Buckendahl
Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana