How do you navigate the unprecedented?

This is question we face every day. There are two things we can say about operating during COVID-19:

  1. Our hospitality mission continues at our flagship Durham House.
  2. How we operate is different in almost every way.
To catch you up, here’s a brief timeline of operational milestones since the start of the pandemic:
  • In early March, our in-hospital Family Room programs, led by an army of caring volunteers, closed as hospitals closed their volunteer programs.
  • On March 16, our beloved Durham House volunteer program was put on hold. This includes our front-desk welcome crew, meal groups, bakers, and activity leaders, including therapy dogs.
  • On March 21, Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide temporarily stopped accepting new families in our residential Houses.
  • We follow state and national disease-prevention guidelines, including screening and physical-distancing measures; this means our dining room, living room, and other common spaces are now closed. Family-support activities are also on hold.
  • There are still patient families living with us!
  • A core staff team continues deliveries of food, drinks, and supplies to hospital staff for delivery to hundreds of patient families.

What if you’re a family that needs a place to live during your child’s treatment?

We are working with our partner hospitals and with Ronald McDonald House Charities on a plan that will allow us to once again accept new families while ensuring guest safety. It’s possible the process could last through mid or late summer. Please stay in touch with your hospital social worker and our family-care team (919) 286-9305. We miss you and look forward to having you back!

How can friends of RMH help?

  1. Financial contributions are needed now more than ever. While we have fewer families than usual, we remain open. At the same time, some of our fund-raising programs are changing to new, untested models or are on hold.
  2. Our Amazon wish list is a quick and easy way to direct support to patients and families at Duke and WakeMed. The list is updated regularly, and can answer questions.
  3. Meals are still needed for families staying at RMH of Durham! Meals may be delivered from restaurants and caterers. keeps the schedule, and will welcome your interest!

Thank you for your continued love and support in this challenging time!


A wish-list donation from the People’s Club of Nigeria to celebrate a former patient


LEFT: Mother’s Day dinner provided by guest-services volunteers who miss being with RMH families; MIDDLE: A regular, donated sanitizing of the House by our friends at Jani-King; RIGHT: 2-year-old Waylan returned home to Asheville in May after a successful bone-marrow transplant for leukemia