Ronald McDonald House in Norfolk celebrates 40th anniversary with '40 for 40' campaign

Posted at 1:09 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 19:53:34-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The Ronald McDonald House in Norfolk turns 40 this week.

The house that sits on Colley Avenue first opened in 1981. It provides families a home away from home while their children are being treated at CHKD or other nearby hospitals.

The Norfolk house has 17 guest rooms and Executive Director Elyse Brown tells News 3 that ten families are currently utilizing this space. She tells us that it is in an ideal location in Downtown Norfolk, just across from CHKD.

“Families can walk, literally walk to the hospital to see their child when they need to, and that’s so important when a child is sick, who do they want? They want mom or dad right there with them. But the parents also need a place to rest and relax,“ Brown said.

Some families stay at the house for just a couple of days and others for a couple of months. Ronald McDonald charities do not charge families to stay there.

"Most of them have no idea they’d ever need a Ronald McDonald House because they were here on vacation and they had some incident occur. Maybe they went into premature labor," Brown said. "We have a lot of accidents of near drownings, car accidents, and so they are shocked because of that and they need a place to stay and we offer that at no cost to the families."

For their anniversary, they are asking for your help. Wednesday, they kicked off a campaign to raise $40K in 40 hours.

The campaign will end at midnight on Friday, December 10.

“We want to ensure that Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk is around for another 40 years and more to help families who have no idea that they will need a Ronald McDonald House,” says Elyse Brown.

For more information about how you can get involved, click here.