What We Do
Give a parent one wish, and chances are they would ask for health and happiness for their children. But that's not always possible. Fortunately, there's the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville, a temporary home-away-from-home for families with seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Each month, we have over 20 different illnesses that bring families to us, including cancer, premature birth, respiratory problems, various surgeries, and emergency care.
Families may stay as long as their child is hospitalized. Our longest continuous stay was 23 months. Many families have numerous visits over a several year period. One Virginia family has stayed with us 53 times over a 15-year period. Families are welcome to stay as long as their child is receiving medical treatment and they obey the house rules. Families are asked for a donation of $5 per night for a room. If this is prohibitive, then the fee is waived. No questions asked. A "family" may be any support person needed to help those through trying times. Grandparents, friends and even siblings of the sick child are all welcome to stay.
To make arrangenents to stay at the House, we require a medical referral which usually be obtained by your doctor's office, a hospital social worker, or charge nurse. After the initial contact has been made, you MUST call us on the day you wish to stay to check on room availability. If you have stayed with us within the last 3 months you can make a self referral. Check in and out times are anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. seven days a week.
Families do not have to share a room with other families. All of our family rooms are private rooms. There are common, shared areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, the living room, and playrooms.
All you need to bring are your clothes, toiletries, and any special dietary items you may require. We have a pantry packed with food and fully equipped kitchens that you'll have access to. Periodically, we have meals provided by volunteer groups. In addition, numerous restaurants are only blocks away. We have a parking lot behind each house. They are free of charge to our residents and they can accommodate any size vehicle.
If there is a problem at the hospital after hours, the House is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although incoming phone calls are discouraged after 10:00 p.m., emergency calls are always handled and immediately transferred to you.