COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio aims to be a beacon of hope for the community, providing a safe space for families who have children spending time in the hospital.

What You Need To Know

  • The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio just expanded and is now the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world

  • They added 86 more rooms and can now accommodate over 6,000 families

  • Several Columbus businesses and organizations donated to create the space

Located across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House just expanded.

“As you might imagine, it's been a very interesting thing for all of us to be able to watch, and we've been so eager for it to be done. And now that it's here, we're just so thrilled that we're able to serve another 2000 families every single year here at the Ronald McDonald House,” Ryan Wilkins, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio chief marketing officer, said.

Wilkins said the expansion now lets the facility provide housing for more than six-thousand families every year. It’s a space family members can stay in, free of charge, to make it easier for them to be able to visit their child who’s being treated.

“So back in 2016, we started taking a look at what we needed to do to prepare for the growth of all the hospital systems here in central Ohio. And it became very clear that we needed to almost double the square footage of the Ronald McDonald House,” said Wilkins.

A project this massive is a community-wide effort. Several Columbus businesses and organizations donated to create this space. From Tempur-Pedic donating mattresses to the new Columbus zoo providing space and more, the Ronald McDonald house said it can now do a better job of serving its community.  

“So they can wake up in the morning, take a shower and a really nice room that they're staying in for free. Come over here, grab a bite to eat, and then walk across the street to be with their child so they can focus on the health and well-being of those kids,” said Wilkins.

And Wilkins knows that it’s more than just the people who live in central Ohio that will benefit from this expansion.

“When people travel here to central Ohio to get the expert medical care from nationwide Children's in Ohio State and Ohio health, we are able to be a place for them to stay right across the street from where they're being treated, which is such a gift to be able to give to them. And they can stay here totally for free. And no one ever has to pay to stay here,” said Wilkins.