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The Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House exterior sunny
Our Ronald McDonald House provides a supportive “home-away-from-home” for families and their children who are receiving medical treatment at Children’s of Alabama, UAB, or other area hospitals. We provide guest families with all the comforts of home – plus a local support network – so they can focus on their children’s healing. Without our House, families might have to sleep in the hospital lobby, a child’s hospital room or even in their cars, as most families cannot afford a hotel for weeks or months – especially under the financial stress of mounting medical bills.

Just a couple blocks from the hospitals, our Ronald McDonald House provides temporary housing for families.  The doors of our House are open 24 hours a day, 365 days each year, to welcome families of sick or injured children. Staying close by allows parents to better communicate with their child’s medical team and provides adherence to complicated treatment plans.

The Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham has welcomed over 47,000 families since we opened in 1979.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB Women & Infants Center


The Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB sitting area includes two recliners and a couch set up around the TV.


In January 2018, RMHCA opened Birmingham’s first Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB Women & Infants Center. Located within the Regional NICU and Continuing Care Nursery, this family room includes a kitchen where families can grab a snack or warm up a meal; a sitting area for reading, chatting or watching TV; and tables where parents can share a meal or enjoy family programs. There are also three private sleeping rooms and three private showers where  parents can rest and recharge.

The common area is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The sleeping/shower areas are managed by the Continuing Care Nursery nurses.

The Family Room allows RMHCA to serve more families in addition to those who qualify to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

Since 2018, the Family Room has positively impacted guests in many ways:

52,000 visits by parents to relax, join arts and crafts, or to grab a snack

1,600 room nights so parents can be steps from their infant

2,600 babies had their parents by their side


Other Outreach: Happy Wheels Cart


Andy gives a patient a snack at the Happy Wheels Cart 3-9-17


Our Happy Wheels Cart program was launched in 2016 and delivers the comfort and care provided by the Ronald McDonald House to children and families while they’re at Children’s of Alabama.

Families at the hospital, including siblings, often wait long hours or even days without being able to leave the hospital or even their child’s bedside. Happy Wheels volunteers move throughout the hospital and offer items such as toiletries, drinks, snacks, books and age-appropriate activities and toys to patients, siblings and their caregivers.

We are so excited to be partnering with Children’s of Alabama to bring our Happy Wheels cart into the pediatric areas of the hospital two to three days a week. Children’s provides excellent care for patients and families and this will be a great addition to their family-centered care.