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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Our mission is driven by the belief that no child should endure hospitalization without their family by their side and no family should have to endure this very stressful time without the comforts of home. Our House program is the core of our mission. A hospital's priority is treatment for the patient -- our priority is meeting the needs of their family. Many families say if not for the Ronald McDonald House, they would've slept in their car or in the hospital waiting room. By providing tired, scared, and overwhelmed parents a comfortable bed, warm shower, and hot meals while being just steps away from their critically-ill child, we believe we are helping families heal together.

Results: Our charity serves families from throughout the Ohio River Valley and beyond. Our primary counties include Edwards, Wabash, Wayne and White in Illinois; Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick in Indiana; and Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union and Webster in Kentucky. The population we serve is parents/caregivers who live 15 miles or more from our house with a child 21 years old and younger who is hospitalized or undergoing short- and long-term medical therapies. In the ten years since our Washington Avenue House opened, we have served over 2,000 families whose total stays were over 24,000 nights and averaged 7 to 14 nights each. We have served over 100 families with an average stay of 14 nights at our Gateway House since it opened in October 2019.

Target demographics: Parents of critically ill children hospitalized or receiving medical treatment in the Metropolitan Evansville area

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 1,000 families

Geographic areas served: Southeastern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana and Western Kentucky

Programs: Ronald McDonald House: Our “home away from home” provides shelter and comfort to families who must travel to our community in order to receive medical treatment for their child. Families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better. While we cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, we can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources they need.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Judi H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Evansville, Indiana. I have volunteered for eleven years working the reception desk. During my years at the Ronald McDonald House, it has been my pleasure to meet and greet many new residents. New residents are greeted by staff and volunteers with open arms. There is no such thing as cultural barriers. All are greeted and respected. On occasion we reach out to our community for assistance understanding a foreign language. We want all residents to feel safe and secure. Our residents are given clean rooms for their physical rest, meals for their sustenance, and listening ears and hearts to hear their emotional journeys. There is no place like home, however, our Ronald McDonald House shows a comfort respite for those on long journeys with their children.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of the Ohio Valley. I have had my eyes opened to the large number of premature babies as well as ill children that live in our tri-state area. Families of these children find comfort and caring at our RMHC. Lodging, food, play areas, and plenty of caring are found within these walls. Thanks to all of our community for their support and monetary contributions!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I've served on the Board of Directors for almost a year now and have worked closely with the staff of RMHC. Each staff member is so passionate and determined to serve families that walk through their doors. Along with a resourceful staff, the two houses are well-equipped with friendly volunteers, a comforting environment, supplies for anything the families may need, and many other resources at their finger tips. I've heard many impactful stories of how RMHC of the Ohio Valley has helped families in desperate need of some support and hope. I thoroughly enjoy being a part of such an amazing organization that puts the overall health of sick kids and families first.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are no words to adequately describe the way our family feels about the RMHC in Evansville. We spent many many weeks over the course of 2.5 years here while working with the hospital feeding clinic. The staff and volunteers truly became extended family members. The way they love my little one and celebrated and supported her feeding journey played a huge role in her success. She had so much love and support from everyone at the house. Our journey was long and hard and they were with us every step of the way. The house is also maintained incredibly well, its clean and comfortable. It takes a lot of people and a lot of love to maintain it and you can feel that love as soon as you walk in the door. We will be forever thankful for our home away from home in Evansville!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After living at the Memphis RMH for 9 months when my daughter had a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude Children's Hospital, I was so excited when Evansville opened a RMH to serve the community! I am thrilled to be able to volunteer at this wonderful facility. The thought and planning that went into both of these facilities, addresses the needs of the families - support, community, and all the basic needs of a "home away from home". I like to say that the doctors saved my daughter and the community at the RMH kept me sane!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering now for 2 1/2 years and McLovin’ every minute of it. Being a part of helping families get through difficult times by providing for their basic needs is my way of giving back. The generosity of donations to RMHC just astounds me. What a wonderful community we live in. I am so blessed and grateful that I have the opportunity to give my time to such a great organization as Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley.

1 Mark T.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started Volunteering in Jan 2010, after the Ronald McDonald House opened. I have served on many committees and am currently on the Board. Helping the families after a long day for them, is very fulfilling. To see the smiles on their faces and hearing all of the nice comments, about our wonderful home. These families are going thru some very stressful times, and just being there and lending a small hand is very rewarding. I feel I receive more than I am giving every time I volunteer. The Staff is always willing to help and answer any questions you may have, and are very enjoyable to be around. I don't know where all of the wonderful people come from, but I would say we have the best Staff and Volunteers, and I am very Blessed to be one of the many.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

How can I possibly thank the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley? We live over three hours away and stayed at the Washington Avenue house when my son was born eight weeks early in Evansville. This house brought us to tears with their generosity. Their opened up their doors and their hearts during our month-long stay and they became a part of our family during my son’s NICU stay. Their graciousness and kindness brought us through this most difficult time and took away the burden of everyday living during this period of unknown. Every day they would ask how my son was doing and someone would offer a prayer. It’s not everyday that complete strangers give everything they have to ensure that you and your family are cared for during a medical challenge. We were so appreciative of their words of encouragement, the open hearts the wholesome meals from volunteers and the house that became our home. Thank you, RMHC of the Ohio Valley, for all you have done for our family. God bless you.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had a 23 year relationship with RMH with my own child, and over ten years here in Evansville. We were welcomed into homes in other states during some of the darkest times of my son’s development, and we have been able to pay back that comfort for over ten years here in Evansville. The house offers families a chance to focus more clearly on their children, without the worry of clean beds and warm meals. This charity is an excellent offering for parents and families while their children receive the medical care they need. I’m proud to share our family’s story, and honored to be a part of Evansvilles homes. They are beautiful, well equipped and staffed to meet families needs.

1 Allison Nicole S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Allison, I had my boy/girl Fraternal twins on February 9th, 2020 @ almost 5 weeks early! My kiddos were in the NICU at Deaconess Gateway for 18 and 22 days. During that stay, I met a lot of life long friends and the facility was fantastic! Always clean, always there to help me when I needed it, and always checked on me and asked about my babies! Thank you so much for the expierence!

1 Latasha Adkisson B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

At 32 weeks pregnant my water broke unexpectedly and I found myself in the hospital fearfully anticipating our baby girl’s arrival. When I delivered at 34 weeks, our baby girl was directly taken to the NICU where she spent the next two weeks in their care. Once I had been discharged from the hospital my family was offered the opportunity to stay at RMH at Deaconess. Words cannot express what this organization did for our family. They gave my whole family a place to stay so that we could spend both time with our older children and be near our new baby. The volunteers were encouraging and supportive and the other house members became like family. The burden of cooking or finding a meal in the midst of chaos was alleviated by the generosity of so many and this organization. We had a comfortable place to lay down after a long day. We had laundry facilities. We had everything we could have possibly needed. We will forever be grateful for all they did to support us.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had the opportunity to be a volunteer for 10 years plus at our Ronald McDonald House Charity of Ohio Valley here in Evansville. Also, I’ve been on the Board of Directors for 6 of those years. I can honestly say it has been my privilege to contribute and support the Charity n the capacity that I’ve had the honor to serve a class operation not to mention the resources they provide to families n our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at the RMHC and absolutely love the comfort provided to these families. It’s such a blessing for these families to come together and share their experiences whether it be a child participating in the feeding clinic or a mother with a baby in the NICU. I have not been on the receiving end of the “home away from home” experience but hear only positive feedback from the guests. Best place to volunteer!

1 Cassaundra C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House twice. In 2016, our son was born 5 weeks early and we stayed at the RMH for a week while he got strong enough to come home. In 2019, our daughter was born 5 weeks early and again we found ourselves at RMH for a week. Each time the volunteers made us feel welcome. It was so nice to be able to do laundry, grab a bite to eat, clean up, and rest close to our baby. Even though our stays were relatively short, it meant a lot to us that we could stay close and not have to worry. We never thought we’d need this place, let alone twice, but we were so blessed to have it. Each year for the kids’ birthdays we collect donations to give back.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

During the most stressful time of our lives, RMHC of the Ohio Valley was our saving grace! From the moment we walked through the doors, we felt loved and welcomed. Many bad days were made better by the amazing volunteers who genuinely cared about our family. We are forever grateful for the care we received at RMH! We absolutely love coming back each year for our Birthday Visit to drop off tabs and donations!

Christan Lavann M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm rather upset at someone's post here. First off, there's always ALWAYS a refrigerator in the kitchen that has "community" food. Even for the people who do not have a room there. And while our particular room didn't look like the one pictured, it was extremely nice and cozy. The bed there was THE most comfortable bed I'd ever slept in EVER! I cannot speak for the other post but I didn't see every single room, as I doubt they did either. And of course they asked us to keep our rooms clean!! They're certainly not a motel! That's not too much to ask of any adult staying there! Every single volunteer helped us and was pleasant and so encouraging! Also, yes they asked us to "sign in/out" so if the NICU called they'd know if we were in our room! They gave so much for us. They served us in a way no one else did or even offered to do. I was able to be with my daughter the month she was in the NICU....my youngest son was able to stay whenever and my husband came and went to work as he needed. I breastfed every 3 hours and was in and out ALL hours of the day and night. They even provided me with a breastpump and a mini fridge in my room to store my milk! There were rules of course and we were able to buy and cook our own food. Never were we turned away from a meal or a shower or the ability to wash clothes. They were most kind and such a blessing from God. My family is so very thankful! Thank you RMHC! ❤

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Evansville has been a wonderful experience for me. The house itself is so warm and inviting, and the staff is so caring and compassionate. Being able to provide some level of comfort for families going through a difficult time is very gratifying. I truly believe I receive more than I give.

2 Lynn P.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Ronald McDonald House in Evansville has a beautiful facility and a beautiful spirit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Ronald McDonald House almost six years ago and love it. I enjoy working with the other volunteers and staff members. Staff members are always available if you need help, just a phone call away. They are very understanding and I feel like I can always ask them for help. The volunteers on my shift all work closely together and help each other when needed. The guests who stay at the house appreciate that you are helping them. It makes me feel good knowing I am helping someone. We have quite a few volunteers, but you don't get lost in the crowd. It's a great place to volunteer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House for the past 5 years I can tell you that it is truly a wonderful home away from home for families with sick babies. This house provides these families all of the modern conveniences of home and a nice, safe place to lay their heads at night so that all of their attention/focus can be on their baby during this typically otherwise difficult time in their lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ronald McDonald House provides a much needed resource for families with sick children. The volunteers are always very helpful to the families that stay there. Some of the families have to make recurring visits to the hospital and have stayed at Ronald McDonald House multiple times. The families and volunteers get to know each other and the volunteers follow the progress of the children. I know it makes you feel like you accomplished something good when members of a family show up at the House after what has probably been a very rough day and you get them checked into a room for a night (or longer). The family can try to relax and rest and don't have to worry about where to stay or where to eat. A lot of the families come back to visit the House and say hello even after their children are better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s such a blessing to see all the families that have come thru the house. The impact the house and kindness from the volunteers and staff have really affected the families. We are a “home away from home family” to our guests.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a grand daughter that was treated at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore several years ago. They did not have a Ronald McDonald house there, but something similar. This is what inspired me to volunteer in my home town.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I had to spend a month in Evansville due to our son being born prematurely and was in the NICU. A room opened at the Ronald McDonald house and the social worker at the hospital referred us. We were told there would always be hot meals, cozy environment, etc. We arrived that evening cold, tired and hungry. We were informed there was no dinner. We asked about breakfast and informed there was no breakfast offered..only if we food shopped and cooked it ourselves. We were handed cleaning supplies and told we had to clean our room every other day and that they reserve the right to come in and make sure we are doing this..that is an invasion of privacy. We were also told that we could not be in the room at all during the day..my husband works remotely..how could he do that if we could not be in the room during the day? We have to sign in and out when we leave? Also the pictures of the rooms displayed here are NOT what they look like. This was more like a halfway house. I respect what this program does and think it's a wonderful thing, but it is falsely marketed. We were not told that there is only food if a certain group prepares it. We did meet other parents in the NICU who had similar issues with Ronald McDonald house. I would recommend being honest with people and removing some of the ridiculous rules. The people staying there are adults with sick children and should be treated like adults rather than kids at summer camp. Very disappointing.

3 Tony27

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the past my wife and I have been volunteers with a multitude of organizations. Without a doubt our two years with Ronald McDonald House have been the most satisfying and rewarding as we help clean the home as "floaters". Seeing how appreciative our guests are and being hosts for them, interacting with them is instant gratification to us. Our home away from home is vital to all who stay here. A definite asset to the local hospitals and our families who come from all over the Country! We frequently have guests share their feelings - of gratitude and the warmth of obvious love they feel from the staff and volunteers. We enjoy interacting with the children- an extra bonus while helping clean!

Tony and Mary Bitter

2 Deb_19

Client Served

Rating: 5

My second daughter was born 3hrs away from home. It was a scary time for us. knowing there was a Ronald McDonald house just across the road from the hospital took some of our worries away. She was in the NICU for three months and had went through 4 surgeries. We could not have paid to stay in a hotel for 3 months. Our medical bills alone were astronomical my husband missed a lot of work when she had her surgeries and procedures done plus travel. Parents with sick children are so blessed to have the Ronald McDonald houses in the area to stay at while they are away from home.
Since being home now, my daughter is now 8 and we have a more local RMH we are able to give back and donate our time once a month.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at RMH Charities of the Ohio Valley for close to a year now and really enjoy it. The house staff and fellow volunteers are a great team with which to work. I feel like we are providing a lot of help to families at a difficult time in their lives and glad that I can be a part of it.

1 Tracy50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at RMH for over 2 yrs and love everything about it. The house staff along with the other volunteers far exceed any expectations of our guests.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The RMH Charities of the Ohio Valley is a valuable asset to our community. It is especially valuable to families who need a place to stay to be close to their children with critical needs. I have been told many times by these families that if the house was not available to them that they would have been forced to sleep in their cars to be near the hospital. It is wonderful that they have access to a "home away from home" to allow them to get "home cooked" meals and some such needed rest.

I have met and worked with so many wonderful volunteers at the house. Some volunteer because they too needed to stay at a RMH and this is their way of giving back. Others simply want to "give back" to others to acknowledge having received "gifts" in their own life. I am impressed with the number of young people from the community who want to be involved in helping this non-profit organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

Wonderful place that does great work. We are very lucky to have this service in our area.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think it is great to have this free service for families with children that are receiving medical care and need a place to stay and support this is in this area. We live in a rural area and there isn't any other place like it within a 4 hour drive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ronald McDonald House gives us an opportunity to give back to our community. I thought when I first started to volunteer that I would feel good about that. However, I didn't know that the people we serve there give as much back to me as I feel I give to them. It's a place that works it's way into your heart and makes you want to give more. The Staff and the volunteers are wonderful caring people who it is an honor to work with.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ronald McDonald House of Evansville is such a wonderful place. I had never known what the RMH was all about until our family needed and received their services. It was such a blessing that I was able to stay so close to my baby while she needed NICU care. We had a nice place to stay, food to eat, our children had rooms and a playground to use, it really saved us some from having extra stress. The RMH has such wonderful staff and volunteers who help make families feel welcomed and cared about during difficult times. A true blessing for families.

1 Anna50

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ronald McDonald House in Evansville, IN has been both an opportunity and blessing for our family. Without it, NICU families from the tri-state area wouldn't have a place to stay when they can't be at the NICU. Families from all over the country (like ours) use the RMH when our kids are in the terrific feeding clinic at St. Mary's (the local/associated hospital). Many of us are there for weeks (even months) at a time, which simply wouldn't be possible without RMH.

The staff and volunteers at the house make it a true home for us. Everything from the kids' playrooms, beautifully decorated bedrooms, the playground, etc. to the volunteer-provided meals help make the time away from home better. They take the time to get to know us, remember each family's special needs, and go out of their way to make us feel like family.