Nonprofit is just $55,000 away from its funding goal for the remodel of its Bend House, community-built in 1997 to serve families across rural Oregon

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Oregon and SW Washington, which provides housing for families with sick children, has almost reached its capital campaign goal of $1 million for the remodel of its Bend, Oregon house. The house, which tells a Central Oregon story all its own with old-growth, Bend timber construction by local contractors, was built 25 years ago and hosts families from rural Oregon communities and beyond whose children are receiving medical care in the area. 

Lauren Olander, Chief Development Officer for RMHC of Oregon and SW Washington, said, “The Bend House serves a critical need for rural families. For one thing, St. Charles Medical Center in Bend is the only hospital east of the Cascades with a level-three neonatal intensive care unit. It has been well-used over the years and this remodel is desperately needed. It will not only include a cosmetic facelift, but will also create an entire extra ADA-accessible family suite, so we can serve even more families.”

The Bend House fulfills RMHC mission of providing safe spaces, comforting meals, the amenities of home and additional support to families, free of charge. Most of the families come from rural areas, where they do not have access to specialized healthcare. Many of the families arrive in crisis, and the Bend House provides not only shelter, but all necessities, including networking with additional community support organizations and volunteers for ongoing care. 

The facility’s interior remodel is set to begin on May 1, using many of the local subcontractors who built the house in the 1990s. The timber came from old-growth trees in the Central Oregon region, including some from Bend’s Drake Park, removed due to instability or sickness. These trees became stunning beams for the lodge-style interior, which will remain intact. The nonprofit has secured a long-term rental to house families in need for the duration of the remodel work, which is slated to wrap up in fall of 2022. 

Kris Calvin of Earthwood Timber Frame Homes of Oregon in Sisters built the home while teaching a master class on timber-frame construction. Builders from all over Oregon and a few from abroad came together to raise the house. They employed traditional craftsmanship, using oak pegs rather than nails to join old-growth timbers. An architectural gem with a warm, rustic feel, the single-story structure offers a great room with a stone fireplace and, after the remodel is complete, will be able to accommodate seven families.

Erin Borla, Executive Director and Trustee of The Roundhouse Foundation, a lead donor in the capital campaign, said, “This remarkable resource exists because of the true spirit of the Central Oregon community, which came together on many levels for its creation—from local builders using locally felled timber to homegrown fundraising. Today, the community is being called together once again restore a vital resource for rural families facing the daunting challenges of traveling far from home to access healthcare for their children.” 

To help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington reach its goal for the capital campaign, please contact or 541-728-4378. Other upcoming events to support the organization’s mission include its annual Central Oregon Open golf tournament, at Eagle Crest on June 3, and its Hope Lives Here statewide virtual gala coming up on October 8. 

Key supporters of the capital campaign so far include The Roundhouse Foundation; The Ford Family Foundation; Maybelle Clark McDonald; First Interstate Bank; Central Oregon Association of Realtors; Les Schwab Tire Centers; Deschutes County; and Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation. RMHC would like to thank these donors and all the individual donors for their support of this campaign. 

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington (RMHC) provides compassionate hospitality, access to life-saving medical care and a community of support to thousands of seriously ill or injured children and their families each year. Our “home away from home” is dedicated to lifting the financial and logistical burdens families face when an emergency pediatric medical crisis occurs. At RMHC, we believe when a child is sick and receiving care, it’s vital that the child’s family is close by, providing love and encouragement each step of the way, for as long as it takes. We take away the added stress of commuting, hotel costs, laundry, meals and everyday necessities and provide a powerful community of support far from home. All of this at no cost to the families.

RMHC is the only free housing resource of its kind serving Oregon and SW Washington. Today, our organization operates four Ronald McDonald Houses in Oregon: two in Portland on the campuses of Portland Randall Children’s Hospital and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, one in Springfield on the campus of PeaceHealth Medical Center, and one in Bend at St. Charles Medical Center. Every three hours, a family checks into one of our Houses. From a single night’s stay to a longer stay of over 260 nights, we care for families for as long as they need. In 2021, we provided a total of 17,967 nights free of charge, saving almost 2.7 million dollars in saving for families while improving access to lifesaving health care for thousands of sick children. In addition to lodging, our free comprehensive services include around-the-clock meal services; transportation; clothing; childcare; emotionally supportive activities; and access to community services, like haircuts, music and pet therapy.

Published On: April 27th, 2022 / Categories: Featured Grant Stories, Grant News /