One of the biggest challenges for our organization was developing a metropolitan-wide service project that began with the community outreach members of our league in 1979. After only 6 months of identifying and researching the community need for a temporary home for families whose children were being treated for critical or long-term illnesses at area hospitals, Children’s Oncology Services of Mid-America, Inc. was formed.
League volunteers provided the leadership that brought the families and community together to open the first RONALD McDONALD HOUSE in Kansas City in 1981 at 45th and State Line Road. With the initial financial commitment from our League as a founding organization, funding over the next decade grew to over $100,000. The original home is closed; however, two additional homes are today serving hundreds of families and children at 25th and Cherry and Longfellow Park, as well as family rooms within Children’s Mercy Hospital.
The Ronald McDonald House project was a courageous vision and profound organizational commitment for the Junior League and one that the organization takes personal and collective pride with the Kansas City community. We experienced and witnessed volunteerism at its finest through this remarkable League project that gave birth to the dream of “a house that love built”!