Hearts in Action: RMHC-CNI Updates

A Year to Remember: The Impact of 2023


What a year! As I look back, I am filled with immense gratitude and pride.

Welcome to the inaugural issue of “Hearts in Action: RMHC-CNI Updates,” the first in my quarterly commitment to sharing highlights and developments at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.

Below, I’ve reflected on the remarkable stories of resilience, hope, and unyielding support that defined our journey together in 2023. From the heartwarming smiles of the families we’ve supported to the unwavering dedication of our donors, volunteers and staff, each story is a testament to the power of community and compassion.

Join me as I revisit the significant moments that shaped our year…

New Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Advocate Children’s Hospital opens in Park Ridge

In October, we unveiled a new 4,000-square-foot Family Room inside Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. Funded by donors including MOCNI, this facility is located near the NICU and Infusion Center. It offers private sleeping quarters, a communal kitchen, dining, and living areas. We were up and running just in time to serve 211 families in the last two weeks of the year.


Ronald McDonald House in Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital

Our newly established space within Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital, which opened last year, has successfully become a fully operational resource for families. Thanks to generous supporters who made this possible, 8,058 families benefited from this space in 2023.


We are amazed at the impact our volunteers had in 2023

Our work simply would not be possible without the support of our incredible volunteer community. These dedicated, passionate and generous individuals give their time, energy and efforts to help families get better together – every day. Here’s a glimpse at their impact last year:

  • 5,500+ unique individuals volunteered with RMHC-CNI
  • 42,180+ volunteer hours, valued at $1,340,000+
  • 910 meals provided
  • 25,000+ Care Kits donated


Chicagoland McDonald’s stores raised a record-breaking $1.86M through Round-Up for RMHC

In September, we celebrated reaching the $1M mark in Round-Up for RMHC donations for the first time ever thanks to generous McDonald’s customers and dedicated crew members. And they didn’t stop there… by the end of 2023, Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana McDonald’s stores raised a record-breaking $1.86M through their Round-Up for RMHC efforts.

Have you seen our new promo video?


Inaugural pickleball tournament raised nearly $40,000

Our first-ever pickleball tournament, Pickle Smash, was a hit! Wilson Sporting Goods Co., our Presenting Sponsor, went above and beyond in helping bring Pickle Smash to life. Together, this new event raised critical awareness while igniting the community through one of America’s fastest growing sports.


Red Shoe Society hosted a fantastic first-time event – Red Shoe Brew!

In August, our Young Professional Auxiliary Council, the Red Shoe Society, hosted a new event. The Red Shoe Brew included food & beverage tastings from local establishments, live music, and more. The event not only satisfied the guests’ taste buds, but also raised over $65,000, making it an impactful and memorable evening.


As we turn the page to 2024, we stand on the brink of a year filled with immense potential and promise.

Together, we will continue to build on our achievements, strengthen our community, and make a lasting impact in the lives of families facing pediatric illness.

Thank you for being an integral part of this journey and commitment to providing access to healthcare.

Holly Buckendahl
Chief Executive Officer