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Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida is to directly improve the health and well-being of children. Our core values are integrity, honesty, transparency, confidentiality and compassion. Those who stay at our House depend on us to provide for them during the most trying time in their lives.

Since 1982, RMHCNCF has been keeping families close to their seriously ill children. The Ronald McDonald House provides comfy beds, home-cooked meals, and all the comforts of home to families traveling to Gainesville, FL to seek medical care for their children. Our 31 bedroom House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their children – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal, or where they will lay their head at night.

Our House is at 100% occupancy 365 days a year thanks to the preeminent doctors at the Children's Hospital. We served 844 families in 2018. The major diagnosis of a child whose family is at our House is a Cardiac Issue, Cancer and Premature Birth. We are an indefinite stay House, when you become a member of our House you can stay until your child is discharged, the longest tenure of a family in our almost 40 years of operation is 18 months. 

Last year we turned away 631 families. Every day, 365 days per year, staff, volunteers and multitudes of community groups take care of these families. Some contribute by keeping our House clean and organized, making sure the “Help Yourself” cabinets and refrigerators are fully stocked, preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner, making cookies or brownies or keeping the landscape and parking lot clean. All of our staff and volunteers are available to “just listen” when an ear is needed or simply be the warm and comforting arms of “home.” Each task we perform is prefaced by the question “How does this serve our families?”

The second program that helps keep families close to their child is the Ronald McDonald House Family Room located on the 10th Floor of UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. The Family Room offers a special place for families to rest and regroup within the walls of the hospital. It provides a small oasis of calm and normalcy amidst the tense, medical setting-yet families are just steps away from their child's bedside. Last year we served 9,798 people.

As a benefiting charity to Taste of Greater Gainesville, we have had the opportunity to reinvest in our House. With Taste monies, we have purchased new furniture for each of the 31 bedrooms along with new comforters for our 87 beds. Each bedroom has been repainted and new artwork to provide a calm and comforting environment.

It is humbling to collaborate with three remarkable nonprofits. Thank you for supporting our families who travel from all over the world to receive medical treatment at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital.