Frequently Asked Questions

Idaho Ronald McDonald House FAQ

Who can stay at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House?
Families of seriously ill or injured children, 18 years of age or younger, who are receiving treatment at a Boise area hospital or clinic. Families must reside outside of Ada County and initially be referred by a social worker or medical professional.

How long do families stay at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House?
A family can stay at the House for as long as the child is receiving inpatient or outpatient medical treatment at a local hospital and/or clinic. The average length of stay is 12 nights. Some families stay with us for one night and some for several months, it all depends on the individual child’s illness and treatment.

Doesn’t McDonald’s own and fund the Ronald McDonald House?
Local McDonald’s restaurant owner/operators generously fund portions of the annual operating costs of RMHC of Idaho. However, the majority of the annual operating income comes from the community through individual donors, businesses, and fundraising events.

How do I get a room at the House?
A social worker or medical staff member at the facility where the child is being treated must make the initial referral directly to the House. We cannot guarantee placement until the day before intended arrival, but we will place families on a waiting list if the House is at full occupancy.

Are meals provided?
Volunteers come to the House to provide breakfast, lunch, or dinner for our families on a regular basis along with baking snack items for families to enjoy. The House also maintains a stock of various food items for families to prepare meals themselves throughout their stay.

I’d like to volunteer. How does that work?
Check out the information on our volunteer page to learn more! For any questions regarding protocols, processes, and scheduling for volunteers at the House, reach out to Stephanie Meredith at or 208-609-3372.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers are the true heart of the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. They work the front desk, help with family services, participate in fundraisers, cook dinners, clean and sanitize the House, do yard work, and much more. Come and join us!

How can I help the Idaho Ronald McDonald House?
Donate! The generosity of the community is what keeps the doors of the House open. While we ask families to contribute $10 per night for their stay, no family is ever turned away for inability to pay. It costs over $200 (source: per diem rates for Idaho) per night to provide a room, meals, and amenities for a family. Your donations help bridge that gap. So a financial gift, an in-kind gift, or a gift of time are all ways you can make a difference.

Ronald McDonald Family Room FAQ

What is the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
The Ronald McDonald Family Room in Idaho Falls provides comfort and support to families with sick kids receiving medical care at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC). The Family Room has 4 sleep rooms, a kitchen, laundry facilities, and more and is located inside the walls of EIRMC.

Where is the Ronald McDonald Family Room located?
The Ronald McDonald Family Room is located inside the Sunnyside Professional Building at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in Idaho Falls. The Family Room is a short walk from EIRMC’S NICU.

Who staffs the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
The Ronald McDonald Family Room is staffed by RMHC of Idaho staff and volunteers.

Does the Ronald McDonald Family Room only serve families of pediatric patients?
Yes. Consistent with the mission of RMHC, use of the Family Room is restricted to guests of children hospitalized in specific pediatric departments, such as the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). These are generally located adjacent to the Family Room.

Who operates the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
RMHC of Idaho is responsible for the management of RMHC programs offered statewide, including the Family Room program in Eastern Idaho.

Do families have to pay for the services provided by the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
The services of the Family Room are offered at no cost. Generous contributions and donations from the community make this possible.

Who is eligible to use the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
The Ronald McDonald Family Room at EIRMC is available to parents and families of pediatric patients receiving treatment at EIRMC. EIRMC is the only Level III NICU in the region, serving as the referral center for southeast Idaho, western Wyoming, and southern Montana.