What We Do
Families from throughout Alabama, across the United States and from around the world come to Children’s of Alabama and UAB Hospital seeking life-saving treatment for their critically ill children. Often times, they come to Birmingham exhausted, scared and financially drained as they struggle to pay for overwhelming medical bills.
Our flagship program, the Ronald McDonald House, cares for up to 73 guest families every night, keeping them together while their children receive medical treatment. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom, we surround our families with love and support from our volunteers, staff and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. We also provide home-cooked meals, activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, computers, WiFi, and much more so that our guest families can concentrate on what is most important — family.
In addition, we provide a comfortable, relaxing place to rest and regroup while only steps away from a sick child’s bedside at our Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa and the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB Women & Infants Center in Birmingham. We also have a Happy Wheels Cart that delivers the comfort and care provided by the Ronald McDonald House to children and families while they’re at Children’s of Alabama.
With diligence, integrity and compassion, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama joins and aids families in their efforts to find hope, healing, happiness, and growth, regardless of obstacles placed before them.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama envisions a community where families never confront their challenges alone but instead find comfort, encouragement, and support in their quest for hope, healing, happiness and growth.
Why Do We Need the Birmingham House?
Alabama has one of the highest rates of pediatric morbidity and mortality.
- More than 45,500 Alabama children have one or more disabilities.
- Alabama has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate in the nation.
- The number of low weight births has been increasing in Alabama over the last decade.
- Alabama has the 5th highest rate of preventable teen deaths and preventable accidents.
- In Alabama, the human burden associated with the statistics is compounded by the barriers to access to pediatric specialty care.
- Fully 75% of Alabama’s children do not live in a county offering comprehensive pediatric specialty care and must travel to receive needed services.
Birmingham’s Only Affordable Temporary Housing Facility for Sick Children and Their Families
Twenty-four (24) hours a day, 365 days each year, the doors of the House open to welcome families of sick or injured children.
On any night when you open the door of the House, you will find up to 73 families and approximately 140 individual guests resting in cozy family bedrooms. We provide a stocked kitchen for guests to prepare their own meals, laundry, recreational and internet facilities, and welcoming dinners prepared by House volunteers.
It takes $100 per night per family to operate the Ronald McDonald House. However, families are not required to pay a room fee and no family is ever turned away for their inability to make the minimal donation. In 2017, the House provided 888* guest stays and an estimated 39,000 stays since the House opened in 1979.
*preliminary estimate for the year