Featured Volunteer: Joan Swearingen

Joan Swearingen is our volunteer with the longest tenure! As a Guest Services volunteer, she helps families check-in and check-out of the Springfield House, answers questions, and much more! She also writes our thank you cards for in-kind donations. Joan describes her experience as a volunteer below:

"I have been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House for 22 years. During this time I have seen the House expand from a total of 8 Bedroom/Baths with living. dining and play rooms to a 14 Bed/Bath to accommodate the growing need. Also staff has gone from 2 paid individuals to 6 plus nighttime people. Despite all of this growth, the basic services provided have remained the same.

"I consider myself fortunate to have been a volunteer for all these years. Being able to provide a safe, comfortable lodging for parents in crisis with a child in the hospital has been very fulfilling.

"Over all of these years, every family I have helped "check out" to finally go home has expressed their gratitude for the House and staff/volunteers. Often they refer to it as a blessing."

Hamida’s Kitchen caters a meal once a week for the families at the Peoria House!

Hamida’s Kitchen got involved with RMHC to carry on the Legacy of Nausheen’s late mother, Prof. Hamida Ahmand, who found pleasure in supporting family and friends undergoing medical treatment with accommodations and meals at their family house in India near a local hospital. They now cater a meal once a week for the families at the Peoria House. Nausheen says:

“Our favorite part about volunteering at RMHC is the interaction with numerous brave and smiling patient families, who in-spite of being in difficult circumstances, continue to find happiness and create positivity around them. In addition, the awesome staff of RMHC with their compassion and kindness, inspires us every time we are out there.”

Thank you to everyone who donates time to provide a meal for our families!

We need your help now more than ever to continue providing this source of comfort to those who call our Houses home at the moment. Here are two ways you can help!

  1. Make a donation online!
  2. Sign up to have a meal delivered to one of our two Ronald McDonald Houses

Featured Volunteer: Marlene Seaborn

We are excited to kick off another week of National Volunteer Month! Marlene Seaborn of Springfield has been making blankets that we include in our welcome bags for families to receive at the House for several years. Pictured here is her 400th blanket made! She donated the blanket on March 25th. We are very grateful for Marlene’s dedication to our mission, and we know our families are grateful to receive such a beautiful blanket!

Do you have a talent or hobby that you’d like to use to help our families?

Please contact Katie Alsup at the Springfield House (217-528-3314) OR

Please contact Annie Spears at the Peoria House (309-401-2525)

Featured Volunteer: Linda

Meet Linda! Linda is one of many volunteers at the Peoria House. She started with the organization in September 2018. Recently she joined our Guest Service volunteer team. Linda chose to volunteer with RMHC because

“Our hearts were touched by the amazing work being done at the Ronald McDonald House during our stay at St. Jude in Memphis. As a family, our desire is to give back selflessly. I feel very blessed to work with a great team that gives families much needed comfort.”

Thank you, Linda! We are so grateful to have you as one of our volunteers at our Peoria House!

Featured Volunteer: Shelley Ebener

April is National Volunteer Month! We rely on the support of hundreds of volunteers to help us fulfill our mission of keeping families close while their child receives medical care. Throughout this month we will be featuring many of our dedicated volunteers and sharing their stories about why they choose to volunteer for us!

Our first featured volunteer is Shelley Ebener, who has volunteered at the Springfield House for the last several years.

From Shelley:

Upon my retirement three years ago, I knew I still had useful skills and would be looking at volunteering.

Almost thirty-three years ago my younger son was born 14 weeks prematurely. Living in Chatham, we did not need to use the services of the Springfield Ronald McDonald House, but we saw firsthand the importance of the house for families from outside the area. It was such a comfort for those needing a place to stay. When that same son was in our church youth group, the group would would be guest chefs and he would reassure parents that good things happen in the NICU and provide support to the families, as well as living proof of the success possible.

Because of these two experiences the Ronald McDonald House was the first place I looked to volunteer. Seeing the needs of the families and the importance of having a clean, safe home away from home, I know I made a good choice in volunteering.

I have also enlisted the support of friends from the Friends of Chatham Pickleball club to assist at the house as well. They have helped with organizing the pantry, being guest chefs, and most recently providing a dinner (with the assistance of Bella Milano Springfield and the Apple Barn Chatham Illinois) during shelter in place .

Important COVID-19 Update – All-in-Day postponed; Meals from the Heart suspended

Important COVID-19 Update from Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois

All-In Day has been postponed due to COVID-19, and further information will be coming so check back regularly for updates.

Please help us by providing monetary donations to purchase meals for our families and items from our wish lists.


Give now to keep families close!

Give now to keep families close!

At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, our mission is essential and the guiding force behind our efforts as a charity. With the current state of emergency in our country due to COVID-19, we are also responding at the chapter level to ensure the health and safety of the sick children and families we serve. We also wish to protect the hundreds of volunteers who assist our families through their service along with our staff. In order to do so, actions we are taking include:

  • Suspension of our Meals from the Heart program. This is a decision with great impact as we rely heavily on volunteers to prepare meals for our families.  We ask groups, individuals and organizations to kindly consider providing gift cards or monetary donations to support this program while it is suspended. Please visit our donation page to help us continue to provide meals.
  • Tours, other volunteer groups performing service, and community events at our House have been suspended.
  • Some of our staff will be working remotely. Our house program staff will still be providing coverage 24/7 as usual. For questions about our Springfield House, call 217-528-3314 and our Peoria House, call 309-401-2525.

How can you help us at this time? Please visit our wish lists online and assist us through purchases or donations made from the comfort of home.

Like you and many others, we are also in need of hand sanitizer and wipes.

We appreciate your continued support as we all navigate these trying times, remembering the sick children and families served by our charity.

Thank you so much!

Kelly Thompson 
Chief Executive Officer

Support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois with “Quotes for Good”

Russ Ramsey - State Farm Insurance Agent in Springfield, Illinois, has chosen to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois in the office’s Quotes for Good this month! If you are not a current State Farm customer, please contact Russ’s office for a no-obligation quote for auto insurance and be sure to mention "Quotes for Good". Each quote provided will result in a $10 donation to us, up to $400. Especially during this time of uncertainty, your support matters, to both charities and small businesses! We are grateful for this partnership and generosity. Please contact Russ’s office today for your quote or for any other questions!

SHARE #Relief4Charities now to show your support for Ronald McDonald House Charities!

Here in central Illinois, we help over 1,000 families a year. Worldwide, RMHC provides 2.5 million overnight stays annually, saving families over $930 million. Today, we need your help AND Congress’ support to provide #Relief4Charities so we can continue supporting families with sick children. SHARE now to show your support!

Read more at TheNonProfitTimes.com...

2020 Give A Little Love Campaign Results – over $249,000

While we are living in unprecedented times, we still have much for which to be grateful! In February, we wrapped up our 2020 Give A Little Love Campaign. Local McDonald’s stores throughout central Illinois participated and raised over $249,000! Thank you to all in our communities who gave a little love during that time. Those donations are critical to our families year-round! Pictured here are members of the Millan-Petro McDonald’s Organization, Kent Walsh, Wes Byrd, Mikel Petro, Stephanie Schempp, and Jack Millan, with our Development Director, Kendyl Wear. Thank you to ALL of our local McDonald’s stores for supporting this initiative, and to the community members who make it a success!

Pictured here are members of the Millan-Petro McDonald’s Organization, Kent Walsh, Wes Byrd, Mikel Petro, Stephanie Schempp, and Jack Millan, with our Development Director, Kendyl Wear.

Pictured: members of the Millan-Petro McDonald’s Organization, Kent Walsh, Wes Byrd, Mikel Petro, Stephanie Schempp, and Jack Millan, with our Development Director, Kendyl Wear.

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