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At our houses we reach out to help others

Helping children stay close to family and the care they need

Being alone in the hospital can be a traumatic experience, especially for children. And more than ever before, children in need of emergency treatment are being brought to Honolulu from all over Hawaii and other Pacific Islands for expert medical care.

For over three decades, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Hawaii has offered a loving home-away-from-home to families needing to be near their seriously ill or injured children while they're being treated at Honolulu area hospitals.

About Our Organization

Judd Hillside House in Manoa
Judd Hillside House circa 1987

Ronald McDonald House Charities Hawaii, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non–profit organization providing a home–away–from–home for seriously ill children and their families. For 35 years, the House has provided programs and partnerships aimed at improving the lives of children in Hawaii and the Pacific region.

RMHC Hawaii operates two residential facilities to assist families who have children with serious health conditions and must fly to Oahu for critical medical treatments not available where they live. Lengths of stay vary widely depending on diagnosis, but can range from several days to several months.

Nearly 13,000 families have spent more than 130,000 room nights at Ronald McDonald Houses in Hawaii, and almost 155,000 people have been supported by or received help from RMHC family programs and services. The House strives to foster emotional, spiritual, and compassionate support to all who live within. It keeps families close when they need it the most.

Fred Hill and our history

Fred Hill and his wife
Fred and Fran Hill at Judd Hillside for our 25th anniversary.
It all started in 1982, when a group of concerned citizens began work to open a Ronald McDonald House in Hawaii. The group was composed of parents of previously hospitalized children, medical personnel, business people, representatives of the Junior League of Honolulu and the March of Dimes. Based on their personal experiences and the testimony of nurses and social workers, there was an overwhelming need in Hawaii for an affordable, temporary “home-away-from-home” for the families of children hospitalized with serious life-threatening illnesses. Based on this need, the capital campaign for the project was hugely successful.

The idea of a home for families of hospitalized children originated in 1973 in Pennsylvania when Fred Hill, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, learned that his young daughter, Kim, had Leukemia. Through his and his teams efforts, and working together with many members of the community and local McDonald’s Restaurants, funds were raised and a House was opened in Philadelphia. The tremendous value and success of this first House sparked interest throughout the entire country and abroad, and the McDonald’s Corporation continued to be a major sponsor, helping support both the construction of new Houses and their ongoing expenses. It is to recognize this contribution that these Houses have taken the name of Ronald McDonald for the positive, helpful and fun-loving feeling that he inspires in children.