Thank You

2023 Gratitude Report


For all the community leaders who
worked together to start the Ronald
McDonald House in Wichita in 1983.

For all the volunteers and staff who
have made this house a home
to so many families.

For all the donors and friends who
have supported this work.

And for all the families that have
placed their trust in us for 40 years.

Thank you so very much. We share
these highlights with heartfelt gratitude.


Ronald McDonald House®

Ronald McDonald House allows families to stay close by their hospitalized child. Our House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child - not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents also can better communicate with their child's medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. They can just focus on the health of their child.

Ronald McDonald Family Room®

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a place of respite and is just steps away from your child's hospital bed. In the Family Room, families will find a comfortable place to relax, food, personal care items and laundry facilities. Watch TV, read a book, work on a puzzle, or just relax. There is no fee to visit the Family Room.


Free night stays for children
& their families



Saved by families in lodging and meal costs


Families in our Ronald McDonald House

Letter from Leadership

Susan Smythe

Susan Smythe CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has,” said Margaret Mead decades ago.

This year we celebrate decades of accomplishments of a small, committed group of incredible individuals – those who launched the Ronald McDonald House® in Wichita 40 years ago.

They were doctors, parents, community leaders, McDonald's owner/operators and representatives – all committed to making life better for families of very sick children. Wichita’s first home for families of sick children- Ronald McDonald House opened in May 19, 1983. The first House was right next door to Wesley Medical Center and was called “Sleepy Hollow”, in reference to the neighborhood in which it was built. Then, July 11, 1985, Wichita became the first city in the world to have two Ronald McDonald Houses when the “Midtown" House opened near Ascension Via-Christi Hospital - St. Francis.

Recognizing the impact on our programs that the new Wesley Children’s Hospital and their focus on providing more specialists to provide pediatric medical care, the decision was made to vacate our small and aging Ronald McDonald Houses and build a new twenty-bedroom Ronald McDonald House right across the street from Wesley Children’s Hospital. Thanks to donated space in the Wesley Medical Plaza from Wesley Healthcare, we opened our new House July 22, 2019.

Although the need for families to have a home while their children were receiving medical care in Wichita was satisfied, the need for both out-of-town and local families to be able to “get away” while visiting their children in the hospital became apparent quickly after the two Houses were built. Therefore, our first Ronald McDonald Family Room® opened inside what is now called Ascension Via Christi St Joseph hospital in 1995. It was closed in 2004. In 1998, our Ronald McDonald Family Room opened in Wesley Children’s Hospital adjacent to PICU to provide on-site respite and amenities for families visiting their children in the hospital.

Since we opened in 1983, we’ve helped over 72,601 families! And we are grateful that many of those who were children at the Ronald McDonald House now have children of their own.

And speaking of gratitude, I am grateful to all those who came before me, who built the foundation for this wonderful organization. The leaders, board members, volunteers, donors, and many friends who for 40 years have poured their hearts into this mission. Collectively we are changing the world – one child, one family at a time.

Our Family

The Stocktons

First time parents, Danielle and Kody Stockton were overwhelmed with the early arrival of their son and the subsequent 16 week medical journey to follow.

Waylon Stockton was born at 24 weeks and weighed only 1lb 9oz. One week before his birth, Danielle felt something was wrong but was sent home twice. The doctors assured her everything was fine. But, by the end of that week, it felt like her baby was coming out. She headed back to the hospital and insisted on being seen by the doctor.

“I drove myself to the hospital in Dodge City on Superbowl Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. The nurse checked me and said, ‘Call your husband because you are having a baby right now.’ They immediately turned me upside down and told me to cross my legs to keep the baby in.”

At this point, they were told little Waylon had a minimal chance of survival. Their pediatrician insisted on calling Wesley Children’s Hospital in Wichita and Wesley sent a team to come to Dodge City. As soon as the team arrived, Danielle started pushing.

“It was two pushes and he came out right away. He was breech and his feet came out first. The nurse informed us that before anything happened, she would take him and run with him to the NICU as soon as he was born. There would be no time to hold or even look at him. When they took him to the NICU, they intubated and had to resuscitate him a couple of times. There was just a lot going on.”

Once he was stable, Waylon was transported to Wesley Children’s Hospital in Wichita. Unfortunately, Danielle needed surgery so she and Kody had to stay behind. After her surgery, they made the 2hr 40 min drive to Wichita. They arrived at Wesley Children’s Hospital around 1:30 am on Monday.

“We saw he was in good care, and they told us they would send in our referral to the Ronald McDonald House so that we could stay there while Waylon stayed in the NICU. We were able to check into the House that morning. We got to the room and passed out the minute we hit the sheets. The beds were so comfortable!”

The Stockton's had a challenging experience, full of both uncertainty and optimism. During that time, the Ronald McDonald House was their refuge. A place where they could lean on others in their time of need.

“The Ronald McDonald House provided a great source of comfort, particularly when speaking with other families who also had babies in the NICU at Wesley. We formed a close bond with one couple from Tennessee that was adopting a baby and they gave us invaluable advice on gradually preparing for Waylon’s growth. This immensely prepared us and we remain friends today.”

“Waylon was at considerable risk for many things; the doctors were mainly worried about brain damage. He was on a ventilator for 2.5 months and had a lot of blood transfusions.

One day the nurse asked me, ‘Do you want to hold him?’ I was super scared because he was the size of my hand and had tons of tubes attached to him. I couldn’t move the whole time I was holding him.”

The Stockton family began their journey at the Ronald McDonald House on Feb.14 and returned home 112 nights later on June 4th– the due date that Waylon was supposed to be born. Waylon still has doctor’s appointments in Wichita from time to time and they stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

“Waylon is doing great; he is 15 months old and is army crawling around the house.”

Top reasons families come to stay at RMHC Wichita


Preemie babies









"Without the Ronald McDonald House I don't honestly know what we would've done. They gave me a safe comforting place to stay and live for the almost four months that we were there.

I was able to be super close to Waylon and be there to take care of him essentially.

The Ronald McDonald House was like a light in the storm. It's one of the greatest helping hands for so many families like us that are scared and not really sure what's going to happen." – The Stockton Family

At our Ronald McDonald House, we provided sparkling-clean rooms, well-stocked community spaces, and comfortable areas for all, and we are humbled to know that with every free night, we give respite and relief.


Cost to host 1 family per night


Nightly charge to our families

Baker & Meal Program

Our Baker & Meal program is a staple of the RMHC Wichita family experience, and we are proud of the many ways this program fills bellies, offers nutrition and sustenance, and removes major food burdens from the shoulders of our families.


Nights of meals served by volunteers


Servings of food provided by volunteers

"Having the Ronald McDonald House gave me a sense of comfort and home to know that whatever we are dealing with at the hospital was all we needed to be focused on or concerned about. The walkway to get to and from the hospital, the meals they provided for families, the community they strive to build, I think they do an amazing job taking care of every family that walks through their doors."

– The Benson Family

Family Room

Our Family Room is located on the 5th floor at Wesley Children's Hospital. It is a place of respite just steps away from your child's hospital bed. In the Family Room, families will find a comfortable place to relax, food, personal care items and laundry facilities. Watch TV, read a book, work on a puzzle, or just relax. There is no fee to visit the Family Room.


Families served by Ronald McDonald Family Room

Care Cart

Our Care Cart Program at Wesley Children's Hospital is a dedicated initiative designed to provide comfort and support to families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Department (PEDS), Pediatric Oncology, and Pediatric Infusion. Operating within the hospital's Family Room, the Care Cart is a beacon of warmth and assistance for parents and guardians who prefer to remain by their child's bedside. Stocked with an array of sweets, snacks, and coffee, the Care Cart ensures that families have access to nourishment and refreshments. Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of the Care Cart Program, generously giving their time and energy to ensure its smooth operation. With their dedication, the Care Cart is able to make rounds one to two times a day, spreading cheer and sustenance to those who need it most.


people served with snacks, sweets, drinks, and toys in the hospital

Our Community

We couldn't do it without you!

As a local 501(c)3 organization, we are funded entirely by our Kansas community. Money raised here stays here, allowing us to provide a life-changing community of support for families. We are proud and humbled that the investments made by you throughout 2023 helped provide a record-breaking number of free-night-stays, delicious meals, innovative family-centered programs, and more – proving to our guest families that even in the most difficult of times, we are family.


Number of Donors in 2023


Hours of volunteer services


Number of Donations in 2023



Raised to support our mission

Financial Highlights

Our House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family needs to focus on the health of their child. They should not have to worry about where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. Families are invited to stay at our House for free, removing a major barrier for those who struggle to find alternative housing.

2023 in numbers - unaudited







Golf Tournament








Gala Event





Board of Directors

Brian Johnson - President
Scott Marko - Vice President

Mackenzie Baxter
Travis Brock
Nicole Castleberry
Vanessa Combs
Carrie Cox
Shubika D'souza, MD
John Exline
Brandon Gaide
Kerri Jo George
Chris Hurst

Joy Laing

Joe Lane
Robert lane
Eric Parkhurst
Joel Rodell
Melissa Scheffler-Hoyle
Trevor Stahl
Tim Rozzell
Blake Yakel

Thank you to all of our supporters for a fantastic year!

View our 2022 Impact

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