Our Story
How the House became a home
to thousands of families
from around the globe.

Our Story


The Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan began as a dream of community leaders, healthcare professionals and parent advocates in Lansing, Michigan in 1996. These community members came together to address an important need: How to best care for the many families who come to Mid-Michigan for medical treatment for their seriously ill or injured children.Too often these parents were forced to sleep in waiting rooms or cramped hospital rooms, bathe in bathroom sinks and eat out of vending machines while their child was hospitalized — difficult conditions during their most tragic times. There had to be a better way.

After years of research, planning, fundraising and designing and with the support of the community and local businesses, the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan became a reality in June 2000.

Since that time, our House has served more than 1,500 families, with the mission to provide a warm and caring home-away-from-home during families’ greatest time of stress and difficulty—the illness of their child.


The first Ronald McDonald House opened in 1974 in Philadelphia through the unlikely partnership between a professional football team, a pediatric oncologist and a fast food restaurant.When the daughter of Fred Hill, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, developed leukemia, he and his wife spent their days and nights at the hospital. He came up with an idea to make things better for families just like his own. A house was found that could be remodeled and it was purchased with funds donated by the football team but it still had to be made into the home-away-from-home Mr. Hill envisioned.

The team managers and owners approached McDonald’s owner/operators in Philadelphia who agreed to donate the needed funds if the house was called the Ronald McDonald House.

There are now over 300 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide in 35 countries providing tens-of-thousands of sleeping rooms each night to ill children and their families.


Carolyn Hurst

Carolyn Hurst

Executive Director
Carolyn manages the House and its staff on a day to day basis. She works with the Board of Directors to improve the House and guide operations aligned with the Mission. She works with partners and donors, community outreach, team leadership, oversees successful fundraising events and project management.

Susan Schwaderer

Susan Schwaderer

Facilities Manager
Susan manages the day-to-day and long-term operations and maintenance of the House. She ensures our House is well maintained so our guest families are as comfortable as possible during their stay. Susan covers our office during weekday mornings and assists our guest families and volunteers with needs they may have.

Ruth Lumbert

Ruth Lumbert

House Manager
Ruth has been involved with the House since it was built. She knows everything there is to know about what our families need and require to get the most out of their stay with us. Ruth covers our office during weekday afternoons and evenings and works directly with guest family referrals and stay requests. Ruth also coordinates and manages our volunteers.

Michelle Weinfeld

Marketing and Events Coordinator
Michelle manages event planning alongside the House’s fundraising events committees and Board of Directors. She is the go-to point of contact for more information on all of our events for participants, sponsors, volunteers and vendors. Michelle manages our social media accounts — check us out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat! Michelle helps cover our main office so if you give us a call or send us an email inquiry, you’ll likely talk with her! She also assists our guest families and volunteers with needs they may have during the day.