The effort to establish a Ronald McDonald House in the Rio Grande Valley began June 12, 1995 in Harlingen, Texas. A committee of Valley citizens representing the private and business sectors, medical services and McDonald’s owner/operators met to announce that a new nonprofit organization, Casa Familia, Inc., had been formed to build a Ronald McDonald House in the Rio Grande Valley. A Board of Directors was formed soon thereafter, and the Board began a capital campaign in earnest later that same year to make real the vision of serving families with ill children with a comforting and restful home away from home”.
It took many dedicated individuals and organizations to make this vision a reality. One Harlingen philanthropist contributed greatly in generating capital pledges during the capital campaign. In 1996, Valley Baptist Medical Center of Harlingen, Texas offered a site located east of their facility for the construction of the new Ronald McDonald House. A dedicated group of people worked with architects and general contractors throughout 1997-1998 to construct a six- bedroom House. Southwest Airlines flew the building committee to four Texas Ronald McDonald Houses in a single day to give the building committee creative design ideas for their goal of building the best-designed Ronald McDonald House of the Rio Grande Valley.
The exciting day finally arrived on March 2, 1998. The Ronald McDonald House of the Rio Grande Valley opened its doors!
Since that date, the Valley’s Ronald McDonald House has served more than 1,500 families from the Rio Grande Valley as well as other areas of Texas and Mexico. These families’ needs are as varied as the people themselves. Some stay at our House while their children receive treatment as premature newborns and newborns with complications. Others are faced with helping their very young children battle chronic and terminal illnesses. In some circumstances, the families are here to support older pediatric patients fighting to survive trauma. Some battles have been won and some have not, but the angels have always been with us to see us through the joy, the tears and the challenges and have bound House staff and House families deeply together. This is what has made the Ronald McDonald House of the Rio Grande Valley truly the House That Love Built.