39 Years of Support: A Celebration of RMHC of Central Texas and Our Dedicated Community


At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas (RMHC CTX), our mission is centered on providing a comforting home-away-from-home for families navigating the challenges of having ill or injured children in hospital care. What began with just a staff of one and eight rooms back in 1985 has expanded into a comprehensive network supporting over 31,831 families through our four impactful programs at RMHC CTX.

Original RMHC House

As we celebrate nearly four decades of providing a comforting space for families, it’s not just our anniversary—it’s a celebration of the collective spirit that drives us forward.

This collective spirit thrives not solely in the act of listening to an ever-evolving collection of stories but also in the act of sharing them—showcasing the contributions of our volunteers, partners, and staff and their profound impact on the families we serve. Without the support from these dedicated individuals, our achievements would not have been attainable.

As you read on, our wish is that you’re able to see a reflection of yourselves in our celebration. So, let’s raise a toast to 39 years of compassion, community, and hope, and envision even greater goals to extend our support to even more families in the coming years!

Closer Look On The Impact of Our Services for Family Care

Over the years, RMHC of Central Texas has achieved significant milestones in expanding our programs and services to better meet the evolving needs of families.

Here in Central Texas, our impact resonates profoundly, having supported over 31,831 families since opening in 1985. Beyond our cornerstone Ronald McDonald House program, we collaborate closely with local hospitals to provide Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and offer the uplifting presence of our Happy Wheels Carts, bringing moments of solace, healing, and joy to families in their time with us.

One of the unique aspects of our Central Texas chapter is the Healing Hearts Program, an initiative crafted to support families coping with the devastating loss of a child. This program extends a helping hand by providing burial assistance and extending access to The HOPE Support Group, which offers bereavement support for families coping with perinatal and infant loss. This six-week group counseling program is held both virtually and in-person throughout the year.

In addition to our programs and offering lodging and meals, we provide an array of amenities and services at the Ronald McDonald House to make families feel at home and alleviate some of the stress associated with their child’s medical journey. From fitness rooms and gaming centers to laundry facilities and access to community events, RMHC CTX strives to create a supportive environment where families can find comfort, community, and a sense of normalcy amidst the challenges they face.

As RMHC of Central Texas continues to expand its services and support for families, the profound impact of its mission becomes evident through the experiences of families like the Villarreals, whose journey exemplifies the lasting impact of compassionate care and community support.

The Villarreal family, who stayed at our Ronald McDonald House for 249 days, wanted to do something for the house to give back after their positive experience. When their child was discharged from the hospital, the Villarreal family cooked meals for their fellow Ronald McDonald House guest families to express their gratitude.

The mother of the family explains, “The Ronald McDonald House is a HUGE help. I was the type of person who would go to McDonald’s and think about donating but now since I am here [at the Ronald McDonald House] I even tell my family to donate, donate, donate! They utilize [resources] very well.”

Villarreal Family

Most importantly, RMHC of Central Texas owes its existence and success to the steady support of its volunteers, partners, and donors. Without their generous contributions of time, resources, and financial support, none of this would be possible.

Milestones and Highlights of Ronald McDonald House of Central Texas

As someone deeply entrenched in the fabric of RMHC CTX, Paula Tanner, our Volunteer and Programs Director, has witnessed firsthand the profound impact of dedication, compassion, and teamwork within the organization. With our 39th Anniversary marking a significant milestone, Paula shares her reflections on the journey and the invaluable contributions of staff, volunteers, and programs that have shaped RMHC’s legacy of support.


“One thing we do really well as an organization is hiring the best of the best,” Paula reflects. “Every person on our staff is mission-driven, and truly cares about what we are building here.” The dedication of the team, she emphasizes, has been instrumental in shaping the culture and effectiveness of RMHC CTX. “If you ask any one of the 24 members of our team to share their favorite thing about RMHC, long before words come out of their mouth you’ll see the excitement in their eyes and a smile on their face,” she adds. “RMHC has made an incredible impact in 39 years, and we have so much more planned for the future!”

Volunteers, Paula believes, are the backbone of the organization. “Our volunteers are the real heroes,” she declares. “Last year alone over 3,500 of them helped us take care of families by cooking meals, spending time in a Family Room, pushing our Happy Wheels Cart, making sack lunches, and helping us at events.” Their dedication and passion for RMHC’s mission, she notes, are very evident. “The best part is they love RMHC,” she says. “When we say we couldn’t do it without them, we really mean it!”

In her 12 years with RMHC CTX, Paula has witnessed the significant growth and impact of various programs, notably the Ronald McDonald Family Room and Happy Wheels Cart initiatives. “Our Family Room and Happy Wheels Cart programs have grown tremendously over my 12 years with RMHC,” she explains. “When I started, we were building our third Family Room, and now we have SEVEN!” These spaces within hospitals provide crucial support to families during challenging times. “Families tell us our space is instrumental in keeping them close to their child during a tough time.”

The Happy Wheels Cart program, in particular, has experienced exponential growth and made an immediate impact on families. “The growth has truly been the most fun to watch,” Paula remarks. “Thanks to our amazing donors and volunteers, we gave away over 35,000 much-needed items last year.” From toothbrushes to snacks, and blankets to stuffed animals, these simple gestures of kindness provide comfort and support to families facing adversity. “When families can’t get to our Family Room, we bring the things they need right to their door,” Paula says with pride.

Paula Tanner’s reflections shed light on the remarkable growth and positive influence these programs have had, highlighting the organization’s commitment to providing comfort and support in every possible way. To add even more value and a different perspective to RMHC’s impact, we turn to individuals like Ryan Meyer, whose personal connection to the organization underscores the deep-seated significance of its mission.

An Outside Look on the Impact of RMHC of Central Texas

Ryan Meyer, Senior Vice President at Frost Bank, has a deeply personal connection to RMHC CTX, one that speaks not only of philanthropy but of family legacy and heartfelt gratitude. “The Ronald McDonald House is the reason I have a job at Frost Bank. Without them, I wouldn’t be here,” Ryan reflects, underscoring the profound impact the organization has had on his life.

Ryan’s father was not just an observer but a founding member of RMHC CTX, dedicating 17 years to its cause. This familial tie serves as a poignant reminder of his father’s legacy and his support for the organization.

Through Frost for Good initiatives, Ryan and his colleagues have volunteered their time and resources, painting the entire Ronald McDonald House and providing ongoing support since the mid-’90s.

Ryan’s involvement with our organization deepened as he witnessed its impact on those close to him, including a friend whose son was involved in a life-altering accident. Reflecting on this experience, Ryan recalls the immediate support and comfort offered by the Ronald McDonald House during this trying time. He states, “It was a moment that made us realize that this is an organization that we’ve got to support,” Ryan recalls, emphasizing the sense of community and solidarity fostered by our organization.

Over the years, Ryan’s engagement has evolved, from attending events as a child with his father to becoming a founding member of the Friends of the House board and actively participating in fundraising efforts.

As he looks to the future, Ryan recognizes the need to cultivate a new generation of supporters who can continue the legacy of compassion and empathy embodied by RMHC CTX.

Looking Ahead

As we mark 39 years of dedicated service at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, we are profoundly grateful for the amount of support of our volunteers, partners, and donors. Their selfless contributions have been instrumental in our journey of providing comfort and care to families in need.

As we celebrate our achievements, we are also mindful of the challenges ahead. The fact that we are turning away 6 out of every 10 families on our waitlist due to capacity constraints is a reminder of the pressing need for additional support.

With all we’ve been able to accomplish together, in the face of these challenges, we remain hopeful and motivated in our mission to expand our reach and assist even more families. Let’s continue to make a difference and provide comfort, support, and hope for many more years to come. Thank you to our dedicated community for your ongoing commitment and compassion!