The Ronald McDonald Family Room began welcoming guests in 2009 inside the walls of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington, KY.  The Family Room provides a comforting and quiet area of respite, relaxation and reflection for families and loved ones of children who are being treated in the critical care units (NICU, PICU) of the hospital.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room, open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m, seven days a week, is staffed with helpful specially trained and screened volunteers.  Guests of the Family Room will find comfortable seating areas, complimentary snacks, McDonald’s® coffee, books and magazines as well as the use of portable electronic devices (DVD and CD players) with a library of family-friendly media. For the siblings, toys, crayons/coloring books, and games are also available.Families of children facing life and death circumstances are often hesitant to leave the hospital even for one minute and the Family Room provides a few moments of escape throughout the day away from the stress of their situation.

In 2016 1,837 babies and children in the NICU and PICU were able to have their loved ones remain just a few steps from their child’s bedside because of the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Additionally the Room:
♥ accomodated 15,254 guests
♥ served 8,600 cups of McDonald’s® coffee
♥ handed out 8, 500 individually wrapped snacks and 2,300 bottles of water
♥ staffed the Room for a total of 2,982 hours with 81 trained volunteers

The Ronald McDonald Family Room program at Kentucky Children’s Hospital is made possible through leadership support from McDonald’s of Southeastern and Central Kentucky and UK HealthCare as well as individuals, companies, and organizations who provide in-kind and financial contributions.


“Because some families are in the hospital for months at a time, the Family Room develops a feeling of community. It’s amazing to watch new parents of a preemie over the course of several weeks grow braver, stronger, and supportive of newer parents who have just arrived at the hospital. After awhile I find myself looking for certain faces week after week. I look forward to taking over the floor with utterly chaotic games of ‘Go Fish’ and ‘I Spy’ with our smaller guests, and as much as I miss them when they leave, I love celebrating with their families when they receive good news and finally get to go home. I have realized as a volunteer in the Family Room, I will always receive more from those families than I can ever hope to give back, and that is worth every minute of a 3-hr shift!

Lindsay Griffith Ponta
RMFR Volunteer, 2 years

Click here for more information on how you can become a Family Room Volunteer!