March 30, 2013

Ronald McDonald House


What do the Philadelphia Eagles and Shamrock Shakes have in common? 
They both lie at the root of The Ronald McDonald House!


Sure, I've been hearing about Ronald McDonald Houses for years. I had recently passed one in Philadelphia, and thought I'd try to set up an interview for one of my "Let's Give Back" blog features. Little did I know the wonderful experience I was in store for!

I thought that this location was just a random one that happened to be in my neck of the woods. What surprise and appreciation I felt at being told that this location was the very first Ronald McDonald House in the world!


Beginnings - dating back to 1974:
Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, compassionately noticed the parents who spent many a night at their children's bedsides, and recognized a need for better accommodations. She envisioned a home-away-from-home facility and set to making her dream a reality.

Meanwhile, NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill had a daughter being treated for leukemia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, also in Philly. Eagles manager Jimmy Murray, wanting to make a donation to the hospital, was steered toward Dr. Evans. Together, they approached McDonald’s, suggesting that Shamrock Shake profits be donated to their project. 

McDonald's jumped on board, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. There are now 300 houses world-wide.


The Chestnut St. Philly location is in a grand house with amazing architecture, including original wood parquet and mosaic tiled floors, coffered ceilings, custom carved woodwork, and even a Tiffany glass skylight at the top of the staircase.




Chestnut St. has 45 guest rooms.
An addition was eventually built to offer area for expansion. 
Take a look at this fantastic children's treehouse play area!


A cozy living room area, made bright and cheery with an abundance of natural light.
Notice the nice patio outside.


A room was built with teens in mind. Air hockey, pool, and a TV area. 
There's a great workout room. Computers are available throughout the house.



This cute electric train display is a favorite among the kids. 
A group comes in regularly to decorate it for the season. 
Push button controls toot the horns, light the lights, and so on.


A large kitchen-dining area...


...with an adjacent play room.



An outdoor play area.


Watch this terrific VIDEO to see more!

To learn how you can arrange a stay, volunteer, or donate,
visit the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House website.

Thank you, Jen, for a wonderful tour.
Truly heartwarming.

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