Philadelphia's second Ronald McDonald House


Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed, without edits, to run in a previous edition.

On. Oct. 15, 1974, the world’s first Ronald McDonald House opened on Spruce Street, before moving to Chestnut near 39th Street. More than 30 years later, Philadelphia’s second, a 15 room, 27,000 square foot home for families whose children must travel more than 25 miles for medical care in the city, has opened at N. Front St. and E. Erie Ave. near St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

“There are hundreds of families that are being served through St. Christopher’s community that otherwise wouldn’t have a place to stay,” said Susan Campbell, executive director of the new house (depicted at left).

Though it’s next to St. Christopher’s, it services many pediatric care facilities in the city, including Shriners Hospital For Children and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. More than 200 donations helped the construction, which began in November 2006, including nearly fifty in-kind awards from area businesses. Lead sponsors Hahnemann University Hospital and Dallas-based Tenent Healthcare gave over $1 million each, helped by the likes of IBM, the Comcast Corporation and Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture, which donated all of the home’s furniture.

A night’s stay costs just $15 a night, though no one is turned away. The house welcomed two families on its opening day Jan. 7, had seven within a week and intends on reaching capacity and staying there soon.

“We would not have been able to build without the community support,” said Campbell, 35.

See other reporting by Christopher Wink here.

Picture above, from left: Susan Campbell, Executive Director, Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House at Front and Erie; Marlene Weinberg, Capital Campaign Chairperson and McDonald’s Owner/Operator, McDonald’s

2 thoughts on “Philadelphia's second Ronald McDonald House”

  1. Hello Christoper,

    My name is Eze and I am trying to contact Marlene Weinberg. Email would be the best.I know this is a bit random, but I attend Penn State Abington and saw her at one of her managed McDonald’s on Old York Road in Abington, PA. I remembered her name and the idea came to me all of a sudden.

    I am excited to her that the Pennsylvania State University-Abington Campus would like to offer her the opportunity to promote her business by assisting in giving back to a great cause through sponsorship and/or advertisement for a 3- on- 3 Mens Basketball Tournament on October 11, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    On our campus, the Black Student Union (B.S.U.), Latin Student Organization (L.S.O.), South Asian Student Association (S.A.S.A.) and Lares Entertainment and Programming (L.E.A.P.) are the organizations that will be sponsoring the event. In an effort to aid the advancement of the global community, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Nigerian Initiative for Joint Awareness (NIJA). NIJA is a non-profit organization created in 2007 to facilitate the improvement of Nigeria. NIJA strives to accomplish this through programs that promote social service, education, cultural preservation, and an awareness of Nigeria’s social and economic issues amongst Nigerian youth. NIJA is an effort to mobilize the vast intellectual, financial, and creative resources that exist overseas, and bring them back to Nigeria, where we envision them becoming an integral part of Nigeria’s advancement. Locally, we would like to also give part of the proceeds to “Stop the Violence” organizations within the Philadelphia community. A great percentage of our student live in Philadelphia and are passionate about finding ways to stop the continued violence that is disrupting their community.

    It is our hope to continue to build a partnership and collaboration between your local business and Penn State Abington. We can accept monetary gifts or preferably donations from your company. If any tax information is needed by your company, we will be able to provide that for you. Any contributions that you have to offer will be greatly appreciated! Furthermore, you can be assured that your business will be advertised to our students at this event.

    If you can please forward this to her it would be greatly appreciated !

    You can contact me directly at or (856)-577-0561

  2. Don’t know how you can turn someone down that realy need’s your help place. I thought that is whatyour organizations for. You can kep saying you don’t except families from C.H.O.P. , but when we call and pretend we’re a different family from the same hospital you’re ready to give us a room. Thanks for everything,hope you can still sit on your fat dairy air and get paid to discriminate!

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