Ronald McDonald Homes

Ronald McDonald Charity has provided a home for families with a sick child, near hospitals in Auckland, Christchurch and Invercargill. These homes are for families who have to travel from their home town or rural area to a large hospital which can provide specialised treatment for a sick child.

The Manukau DHB (District Health Board) which funds Middlemore hospital in South Auckland, last month decided not to accept an offer to build a Ronald McDonald home for that hospital. South Auckland is the area in Auckland where there are many people who are overweight or obese, and fast food may contribute to their poor health. Now the new Dunedin hospital may also refuse the offer from this charity to build a Ronadl McDonald home. Some officials have said they do not want a building associated with fast food.

However, one parent who had a sick child a few years ago, was full of praise for the facility when his 3-year old developed cancer and the whole family had to move to Auckland and live near the hospital. He and his family were a long way from home and friends, but the Ronald McDonald home was a friendly, caring place which was very important for the family at that time.

He said that there were no obvious links between the Ronald McDonald charity and McDonald’s fast food. Other charities help to fund the building and many volunteers help to look after families who use the facility. There is not enough money for health boards to provide a facility like this.

Listen to Ronald McDonald homes for more about this.


• charity (n) – an organisation which tries to help people for free
• to fund (v), a fund (n) – provide money (v), money (n)
• obese (adj) – very overweight and unhealthy
• facility (n) – a place which is useful


Is this ‘dirty money”? Does it matter where the money came from if it’s used for a good cause?
Some people who have invested money in Kiwi Saver were upset to discover that their money was invested in tobacco companies or businesses making military armaments. Does it matter?

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