Help Us Keep Our House a Home

When you’re loved this much, it shows

The Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City has served more than 34,180 families since its inception nearly 35 years ago. In recent years, the House has seen an increase in critical patients requiring more medical treatment and longer hospital stays, which means families are staying longer and need more support. In 2011, the average length of stay at the House was 7.3 days. In 2017, that number grew to 16.3 days. Over the last three decades, our House has been well loved, and from that love comes the wear and tear inevitable for any home. But while every nick, scratch and stain has a story to tell, it’s time to turn a page in our book and start a new chapter, so every guest can continue to rely on a clean, safe and comfortable place to stay. The Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City is getting ready for a major refresh that will ensure that the House continues to be a safe, welcoming place for families at such a critical point in their lives. This refresh will be completed in three phases so that we can continue to serve as many families as possible throughout construction.


Phase I includes a parking expansion to increase safe access to the House. Often, the lot can become cluttered and congested, as parking is scarce. By reconfiguring our current space, we can add parking capacity to allow us to safely park everyone who is here to support our families and ensure access of emergency personnel to the premises.


Flooring: With thousands of feet walking on our floor each year, our carpet has reached the end of its useful life. Professional carpet cleaners have indicated that they can no longer clean the carpet as there are not enough fibers left to clean. We will be replacing the carpet with a durable hard surface flooring that is washable, yet warm and inviting.

Paint and Finishes: In addition, we will be repainting the walls and replacing worn and broken furniture in our guest rooms and common areas to ensure living spaces are as durable as they are comfortable.

Entrance: Arguably one of the most important updates is to the main entrance of the House. With the increased need for safety and security, it is necessary to reconfigure the main office to improve line of sight of our front entrance while creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for families to check in and interact with staff. This update will include adding windows and an additional door in the main vestibule, reconfiguring offices to create enough space for staff, and creating meeting spaces that meet the needs of our families and operations.

Loft: In April 2019, RMHC-EIWI launched the House Refresh with a partnership between Centro Incorporated of North Liberty and Ethan Allen in a newly renovated Centro Loft Space. New flooring, paint, and LED lighting highlight the design work and furniture of Ethan Allen. Utilizing the extensive Ethan Allen line, the new space incorporates the comforts of home in an inviting and engaging space for all ages, and gives families a safe, welcoming place to relax at such a critical point in their lives.


Every day, 31 families eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in our shared kitchen. The current pod format creates small, inefficient spaces that make it difficult for our volunteer groups to prepare and serve meals for our large number of families. We plan to expand the kitchen space and reconfigure the layout to provide a better flow to facilitate large groups while still offering the opportunity for families to prepare their own food when desired.

Only your support can make this happen

The House Refresh is an ambitious, but necessary project that needs your financial support. Make a tax-deductible donation today using the form below and make a difference for years to come.