There is a place like home!

In July of 2018, Rachel Hadley was 22 weeks pregnant when her organs started shutting down. On July 4, doctors performed an emergency C-Section and delivered twins Scarlett and Jesse at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital. The babies went immediately to the NICU, where they would stay for more than six months.

For Rachel and her husband, Ryan, being discharged from the hospital and leaving their babies to go home to Fairhope was the hardest day of their lives. Until they learned they could stay at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile.

RMHC of Mobile is a home away from home for families whose children are receiving life-saving medical care in an area hospital or other healthcare facility. With 38 guest rooms, there are, on average, 30 to 35 families in the House at all times. Although exceptions are made, families must live outside of a 20-mile radius of the House. Many of the exceptions are for families on the Eastern Shore.

A family in Daphne, for instance, might not live 20 miles from RMHC of Mobile, but the thought of fighting Bayway traffic to get to their child’s hospital bedside is unimaginable. Children, whether they are six days or six years old, need their families close by.

Our job (and privilege) at RMHC is to give our families everything they need so they can focus solely on their children getting better. Besides a comfortable guest room with two queen beds and a private bath, we provide a daily hot meal, a fully stocked kitchen and pantry, laundry facilities, a playroom and playground for siblings, and the love and support of staff, volunteers, and other families who share their same hopes and fears.

The strength and resilience of these moms and dads (and grandparents and siblings) amaze me every day. They seem to never lose hope, even with setbacks or complications. As grateful as they are for the temporary home we provide them, we all love to see the smiles on their faces when they get to take their child home.

I knew very little about Ronald McDonald House of Mobile when I joined the staff in 2022. I did not know families stayed at RMHC at no cost to them. I love that about the mission – not adding a financial burden on top of what families are already experiencing.  

Each RMHC chapter is a separate non-profit with its own governing board of directors. Funding to provide everything our families need comes from events, grants, and corporate and individual donations. Our forever mission partner, McDonald’s, also supports our House by participating in Round-Up, where customers can round up their totals for RMHC of Mobile. 

If you happened to catch the McDonald’s All-American basketball game on ESPN last week, you learned that we are celebrating 50 years of RMHC this year and that RMHC is now in 60 countries. Next year, RMHC of Mobile turns 25!

Our biggest fundraiser for RMHC of Mobile – Little Black Dress Runway Show Gala – takes place April 25 at Ft. Whiting Auditorium in Mobile. It’s an up-tempo, New York-style runway show featuring about 50 models, each representing an event sponsor. Included are cocktails and a lavish spread of hors d’oeuvres, a few food surprises throughout the night, plus an afterparty with music by Jenna McClelland following the runway show.

The Hadleys will be our honored guests for the evening, sharing their story of their time at Ronald McDonald House and Scarlett and Jesse's road to recovery. We greatly appreciate the Barnes Family McDonalds serving as the event's presenting sponsor.

There are several sponsor opportunities left, plus tables of eight and individual tickets. Individual ticket buyers will be seated at tables with other guests.

Approximately 700 families stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile a year. Thousands more use the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms located inside USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital. Our mission is to keep families close when they need it most. There IS a place like home for as long as they need us.

To learn more about sponsoring or purchasing a table or tickets for Little Black Dress, visit

--Diana Brewer

Apr 10, 2024
Events That Inspire

Join Our Community

Sign up below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter

* indicates required

More from 

Events That Inspire


View All