Laly & Jose

The past two years have been difficult, to say the least for Jose and his family. Jose was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was only seventeen years old. Now at nineteen, Jose said, “It has been a tough journey but my family’s faith in God has kept us steady and hopeful for the future.”
Due to Jose’s extensive treatments, he can be at the hospital for months at a time. A hotel bill for multiple weeks would be extremely expensive and it would be nearly impossible for Jose and his family to drive back and forth to the hospital every single day. However, by staying at the Ronald McDonald House Jose’s family no longer had to worry about traveling far to the hospital or about the extra expense of a hotel. Instead,  Jose’s family was able to be close to him in his time of need and give him the love and support that he needed. Jose’s mother, Laly, said, “The Ronald McDonald House played a big part in taking some stress off our shoulders.”
Jose’s long stays at the hospital would make him really miss home. However, his mother found a solution to this problem. Laly would use the Ronald McDonald House’s family kitchen to cook her most delicious meals for him because nothing cures homesickness like a home cooked meal! Laly said, “The kitchen allowed me to bring a little piece of home to the hospital for him.”
Jose liked to come to the House in between his treatments not only for his mother’s home cooked meals, but also to spend some time with the staff. Jose said, “The Ronald McDonald House staff were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They have kind, warm hearts and always made sure everything was okay.” Laly said, “You can tell the Ronald McDonald House staff loves what they do. This isn’t just a job for them. They are there for you to support and uplift you. They became our family away from home.”
Wish List
Every small comfort makes our House more nurturing for our families. We are currently in need of:
  • Pillows- standard size (Sam’s Club)
  • New teddy bears (we place a teddy bear on every bed to welcome our families)
  • K-Cups
The Family Room
  • Chips, popcorn, and pretzels (individual servings)
  • Fruit cups
For more information about our wish list, please contact Sherry Houston at or (352) 374-4404 ext. 230.
Fall Fun at the House
The week leading up to Halloween was packed with fun and interactive activities for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House to enjoy. The week began with pumpkin decorating and other arts and crafts at the House hosted by students from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. To continue in the spirit of Fall, the Ronald McDonald House hosted a Fall Festival that featured cookie decorating and seasonal inspired games. Our families then indulged in delicious sweet treats from Cupcakes for a Cure at the University of Florida who came to the House and baked and decorated cupcakes with everyone. Cupcakes for a Cure’s Volunteer Coordinator, Jane Donat, said, “Cupcakes for a Cure is at its core a support system for children and their families during hospitalization. We are honored to volunteer at an organization that cares so much for these children. Being able to spend a couple of hours with the families at the House is a wonderful opportunity to help out first hand and make an impact. We plan to continue supporting this cause.” To end the Fall fun week on a fantastic note, Charity Nerds distributed free video game systems, accessories, and games to all of the families staying at the House. Charity Nerds’ Vice President, John Locklear, said “"The RMHNCF holds a special place in our hearts. The very first donation made by Charity Nerds was to the RMHNCF in 2016 and we have grown so much in part from the advice and encouragement we've gotten from Director Sherry Houston. Giving kids the benefit of the power of play to heal both mentally and physically is at the core of our mission. Our relationship with the RMHNCF allows us to help families from all walks of life right here in our hometown."

The Ronald McDonald House and our families are so grateful for all the volunteers, staff, and donors who made this Fall fun week possible! 
Bourbon N’ BBQ
Thank you to all those who attended our Second Annual Bourbon N’ BBQ event. The event raised funds that will directly benefit the families served by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. We are thrilled to announce that we were able to net approximately $40,000 thanks to the generosity of our 350 guests!

We are so grateful for the support of our sponsors and guests. We are already looking forward to our Third Annual Bourbon N’ BBQ event next year!
Build a House for the House
Come join the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida for our annual Build a House for the House event at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on Friday, December 14th starting at 11:30AM. Guests will have the opportunity to get into the holiday spirit by decorating a gingerbread house with friends and family. Guests can choose to either build a gingerbread house village with their table of eight or compete as individuals. Guests also have the option to bring their own supplies to help them put their own unique twist on their creations. This year our three local celebrity judges, Chef Bert Gill, Yeni Monroy, and Chef Jaz Moore, will judge individual participants and group entries based on our new, fun, and creative judging categories.

Thank you to our existing sponsors for believing in our mission and going above and beyond for the House. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please review and complete our sponsorship form
Become a Sponsor
East Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church prides itself in transforming lives, building communities, and impacting the world. The gracious members of the East Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church truly transformed the lives of our families by donating over $400 worth of gift cards, hundreds of individual meals, and other various food items from our wish list. Cynthia Mingo, local Women’s Missionary Society President and weekly volunteer at the RMH, said that the women of the East Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church looked at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida’s wish list and donated various items that would help the families staying at the House, along with items that would be utilized in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. This wonderful donation was made possible by Ms. Carla Blalock, the Second Vice President of the East Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Ms. Carla Blalock brought together all the churches who belong to the East Conference Women’s Missionary Society and organized this amazing donation drive. Ms. Carla Blalock said “We wanted to be impactful.”

This is the second year that the members of the East Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church have gone above and beyond for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. We are beyond thankful for their kindness and generosity!
New Things to Come at the House
The Ronald McDonald House is excited to announce that we will be renovating each room’s bathroom! We will be replacing and updating all the fixtures. Thanks to the generosity of the local Lowe’s in Gainesville, we are purchasing new light bars, towel racks, toilet paper holders, hand towel rings, and door hooks at cost! In addition, Santa Fe Electric is coming to the House to install all our new light fixtures and rewire our bathroom fans. Santa Fe Electric’s Project Manager, Brenda Bruce, said, “Santa Fe Electric is a local company that takes pride in being able to better serve the community by helping the Ronald McDonald House in providing living assistance to families when they need support the most.” 

Renovating our bathrooms would not be possible without Lowe’s, Santa Fe Electric, and our facilities manager, Harold Strom. We are so grateful for all their hard work and dedication to the Ronald McDonald House!
Thank you for supporting our house!
At RMH, we believe that when a child is hospitalized, the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. It is because of friends like you that we can keep families close to each other and the care they need, when they need it.

To support our House and keep families close, visit our website. We greatly appreciate your contribution to our Home. 
With gratitude,

Sherry Houston
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida

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Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida · 1600 SW 14th Street · Gainesville, Florida 32608 · USA