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Building a Community with the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston

Ronald McDonald House exterior


The Ronald McDonald House of Galveston’s focus has always been to create a sense of community, and provide a safe and caring environment that uplifts guests in their time of need. The house itself is a Victorian-styled building that fits in with the surrounding architecture of the local neighborhood, making it feel like a true home away from home for its temporary occupants.

The Ronald McDonald House serves pediatric patients and families being treated at University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Children’s Texas, both located just a few blocks from the house. The house provides a comfortable place to stay while the children are receiving treatment at one of the hospitals. The facility has 20 fully-furnished rooms and a fully-equipped kitchen, along with two dining rooms. There are also bilingual staff on-site 24 hours a day to assist the families.

The Ronald McDonald House of Galveston’s main occupants are Shriners Children’s Texas patients, ranging upwards to 90% at any given time. A long-standing partnership between the two organizations has lasted almost 30 years. Carolyn Nelson-Becker, director of the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston, said that close ties with Shriners Children’s Texas are very important to her organization. “We definitely feel like we are partners,” Nelson-Becker said.

As Shriners Children’s Texas has expanded its treatment service line to include orthopedics, cleft lip and cleft palate, there has been an even greater need to house out-of-town families who need a place to stay. Recently, the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston added a large adaptive playground to give the children a safe place to play while staying there. In fact, both organizations have recently invested in their facility’s growth to meet the demands of a growing population of patients and their families.

With so many children and families from Shriners Children’s Texas currently served by the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston, it becomes obvious that donations to either organization are helping many of the same children. There are several opportunities for volunteer work and for giving money or material items, such as food or clothing. In addition, there is a need beyond the everyday necessities, including the desire to add an on-site generator at the house to provide electricity during inclement weather or other emergencies.

The partnership between Shriners Children’s Texas and the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston continues to grow, and their mission to serve children and families in their time of need is a shared bond, creating a community where healing can continue to thrive.

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