What 35 Years of Helping Families in Need Means to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC (RMHCDC) has been blessed to be a part of the Greater Washington, DC community for 35 years. In this city, we may see a lot of political change and power players, but we're still a city rooted in American values like family, opportunity, and lending a hand to those in need.

Support from a community that holds these values dear has made it possible for us to:

  • Give families the opportunity to seek the best health care for their seriously ill or injured child, no matter how far away it is;
  • Reduce day-to-day worries on families like where their next meal will come from; 
  • Provide a comforting and supportive community that understands the struggles facing families of seriously ill children.

In 35 years, we've served more than 175,000 family nights. Each family has a permanent place in our hearts. On this anniversary we celebrate our past families and we look to the needs of our future ones. 

Read on to learn more about our beginnings, growth, and plans for the future!

June 6, 1980: The Beginning of RMHC DC

It took a lot of love and support from the community to open the first Ronald McDonald House of Washington, DC. It was the 16th Ronald McDonald House to open in the country. 

Re-purposing an old Spanish colonial home that had belonged to nuns in a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC, a small staff began to offer a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children seeking treatment at area hospitals. 



1994: A Ronald McDonald Family Room is Created

Thanks to a partnership with Children's National Medical Center (CNMC), RMHCDC was able to open a Ronald McDonald Family Room (RMFR) on the Hematology-Oncology floor of CNMC.

The Family Room is a place where families can go for a snack, a cup of coffee, a friendly smile from our staff, quiet time, or privacy to talk with a doctor. The RMFR is crucial to families who either cannot stay at the House or  leave their children's bedside for more than a few moments. Since it first opened, the RMFR has undergone two expansions and a remodel and now offers programming, laundry facilities, and a full kitchen.

Ronald McDonald Family Room CNMC


1998: A Second Ronald McDonald House Opens in Northern Virginia

A needs assessment showed that our services were needed in Northern Virginia, so after a successful Capital Campaign and thanks to a wonderful relationship with INOVA Fairfax Hospital, we opened a brand new Ronald McDonald House of Northern Virginia on the grounds of the INOVA.


Ronald McDonald House of Northern VA

2002: Programs Expand to Include a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

We formed a wonderful partnership with Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 2002, collaborating to bring free health care to District Wards 5 through 8 with the KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile (KMMC/RMCM). This "clinic on wheels" provides more than 1,500 patient visits each year to address the needs of the most underserved in DC. For more information about this important program, visit the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's KMMC/RMCM site here.

Ronald McDonald House Charities��� of Arkoma to Receive $1.5 Million from Tyson Foods, Inc. for Care Mobile Program

2011: A New Ronald McDonald House is Built in Washington, DC

After 30 years as The House that Love Built for families in need in Washington, DC, we outgrew our beautiful Spanish colonial. A brand new home-away-from-home was built to accommodate more families and includes four isolation suites for children with compromised immune systems. Our new RMH is just around the corner from the old one, in the same quiet neighborhood just a few minutes drive from Children's National Medical Center. 


2015: Looking to the Future

In 35 years, more than 175,000 nights have been shared in our Houses with families in need. We're grateful for all the ways we could care for those families - we couldn't have done it without the support of friends like you! Please help us raise $35,000 in contributions this year for the #35for35 Campaign to help ensure the safe haven of all those families to come.