Over 35 years ago, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of CNY (RMHC of CNY) was simply a dream, a dream of a safe, comfortable place where families whose children were hospitalized could find respite just around the corner. This dream began with a grass-roots, community effort led by very dedicated local parents of seriously ill children who were members of the Children’s Special Needs Fund. They joined with McDonald’s and other community leaders, and our House opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day, 1982.
The original House at 1027 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, had a modest kitchen, seven bathrooms and six guest rooms. In less than two years we expanded into a second home next door. The two properties were connected by a breezeway, and the House now had a total of 16 guest rooms and 12 bathrooms. The physical limitations of the original CNY Ronald McDonald House made it increasingly difficult to meet the needs of our families, including full handicap accessibility.
To address the needs, the organization conducted a capital campaign to build a new, larger, fully handicap-accessible CNY Ronald McDonald House. We opened the doors to our new Home at 1100 E. Genesee St. in 2012 and have been able to serve even more families in need and keep families together. We have expanded our services and the number of guests we can accommodate. Our guest families have traveled from 48 counties in New York, from across the United States and from numerous foreign countries to access the best in medical care at local Syracuse-area facilities.
We are very proud of keeping families together during some of their toughest times. Since our doors first opened in 1982, more than 18,000 families have found comfort and hope at the CNY Ronald McDonald House. In 2017, we celebrated 35 years of helping keep families close to the medical care they need and exactly where they belong… Together.