Questions about our Ronald McDonald House
A Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families who must travel hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to seek medical treatment for their children. The House keeps families close to the medical care and support they need. Families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House® share their stories and gain new insights as they meet children and parents with similar concerns. The House is a place to share hopes and dreams. Thanks to the caring support of volunteers and staff, the burdens shared become a bit lighter – easing the pain of some very special people. Your support of our Ronald McDonald House says you care and lets you reach out to these children and their families. Contributions are tax deductible.
Sort of! A Ronald McDonald House is one of the three core programs available through a Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Chapter. Each Chapter is a licensee of RMHC, Inc. and serves families through one or more core program (Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile), as well as local programs that address the specific needs of the local community. Each RMHC Chapter is a separate, individual non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, with their own Board of Trustees, supported by individuals, organizations, and businesses within their community.
The Chapter in Rochester is Ronald McDonald House Charities Midwest MN, WI, IA.
How to stay at our
Our House is filled on a first come, first served basis. We are not able to take reservations, because families with ill children are not able to predict when their children will get better and when they’ll get to go home. For all new families, please read and follow the steps outlined in our How to Stay With Us section to allow us to best serve you upon your arrival in Rochester.
Our House has 70 guest rooms; the largest in the state of Minnesota, 14th largest in the United States, and 18th largest in the world. Room amenities vary slightly, but all rooms have two beds (with an additional sleep option) and a private bathroom. Room occupancy is limited one room per family and five family members per room. In special circumstances, we provide tours of the first floor of the House to the general public. Eligible families can contact us once they have arrived in Rochester to schedule a House tour 507-282-3955.
Guests often include the patient’s parent or parents. We also have siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, and friends. Anyone who is part of the child’s support system is welcome.
RMHC Midwest | MN, WI, IA does not provide babysitting service. Parents and adult caregivers are responsible for their own children at all times providing supervision of any child under the age of 18. Patients 18 years and younger and any other guests/children under 18 cannot be left alone at our House.
Families are allowed to stay as long as their child is receiving medically necessary care; inpatient or four appointments per week if outpatient and meeting our House’s Rules and Expectations. This may be only a few nights, but sometimes this extends to six months or more. The average stay varies, but families often stay 17-22 nights.
Our Family Activity Program provides families with quality activities while staying at our House. The goal of these activities is help provide peer/parent interaction, supportive conversations between program staff and child/parent and provide a healthy distraction for the entire family. Thanks to many generous donations, there are pantry foods available; enough for a light snack or a quick meal.
A shuttle service takes families to and from the clinic and hospital, Monday through Friday during daytime hours.
At times, we have grocery and gas gift certificates donated which are of great help to families facing financial stress. Donated phone cards also help our families keep in touch with loved ones at home.
Community members provide opportunities for our guests to get together at House Dinners and other fun activities in our House.
Tutors can be arranged for children by Rochester Public Schools.
The House has a kitchen pantry with many non-perishable food items and milk donated to the House by our caring community. Each family is responsible for cooking their own meals in the common kitchen. They are welcome to use these donated items and are assigned refrigerator and pantry space for the foods they purchase.
Families also have access to the Fresh Food Co-Op, a first-of-its-kind space with perishable food items, such as meat, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products.
Multiple times per week, volunteer groups from the community sign up to cook and serve evening meals for the families in the community room. A schedule of the meals and menus is posted each week.
How to support
RMHC Midwest | MN, WI, IA
Our Chapter is funded by the generous support of individuals, corporate partners and other philanthropic sources.
The McDonald’s Corporation and McDonald’s restaurant owners support RMHC Chapters in many ways, and we are very grateful for all they do for us. McDonald’s restaurants sponsor special events, support the pop tab program, and collect donations through their store canisters and Round-Up for RMHC, a percentage of which supports RMHC Midwest | MN, WI, IA. However, we simply couldn’t begin to afford to deliver our mission year in and year out without the financial support of individuals, groups, and organizations in our community.
Pop tabs are recycled at the current aluminum rate. Your pop tab collection can be dropped off or shipped to our House (850 2nd St. SW, Rochester, MN 55902). Many schools, churches, and businesses also collect tabs for us. Pop tabs are a great fundraiser, bringing in more than $10,000 annually. Collection containers are available by contacting us. Visit our Pop Tab Program page for more information.
Share your talent and your time with the families at our House. Please visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for a list of many rewarding ways that you can make a difference at our House.
If you prefer to donate financially, you can donate online or by mail.
Our Needs List includes items that are currently high priority.
Groups and organizations are invited to plan House Dinners or special events for families here. Due to the varying medical conditions of the children here, we are unable to arrange individual visits with children. Volunteers must be 16 years old. Visitors must be healthy and free of any infectious condition.
We have many ways that families and groups can get together and support our House as a family or group. Please visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for more information.