Giving Families a Home Base

Joey and Valerie Hernandez were not prepared for the shocking news that the baby boy they were expecting would be born prematurely at just 26 weeks. The doctors delivered the news that it would be a long road ahead of the Hernandez family as their infant son would require at least three months of hospitalization in the NICU.

“The thought of him staying in the hospital and me being released was heartbreaking,”  

The prospect of having a sick child is daunting for all parents, but having to leave them in the hospital compounds the already overwhelming stress and anxiety. For Valerie and Joey, who have two other daughters, being away from their older children while staying with their baby boy in the hospital was going to be a monumental struggle.  

“But then I heard four little words that would forever change my life – ‘The Ronald McDonald House’.” 

Valerie was overjoyed to learn that she could stay close to her son while her husband and daughters could stay and visit around their school and work schedules. “I was blown away and so happy; I was in tears!”

One of the special gifts of staying at The Ronald McDonald House of San Antonio is the flexibility around families. Like the Hernandez family, many parents of sick children have jobs, other children, and the demands of everyday life they must maintain around the care of their sick child. The Hernandez family was no exception. They needed a dedicated space to gather as a family to maintain some semblance of normal family life.

“The Ronald McDonald House has been so welcoming and accommodating with wonderful staff members and a place to cook family meals.”   

Ronald McDonald Families find that having a home base where families can rest, prepare meals, and spend time with other children in a private residence just for their family is priceless. Families like the Hernandez’s don’t have to worry about the expensive costs of convenience food, lodging near the hospital, and necessities like laundry, showers, and a quiet space to decompress between hospital visits. Families also appreciate the care and support of the dedicated staff, who, for many RMH families, have become like close friends and family.

“Bianca and all the staff will forever have a special place in my heart.”

Caring for a sick child in the hospital can be a very isolating experience, especially for out-of-town families. The Ronald McDonald House provides an ideal residential environment where families find respite in the privacy of their home while having access to a supportive community of families and caring staff. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio helps over 1,000 families like the Hernandez Family each year. Our goal is to keep families together in a home environment that offers all the resources they need in their time of crisis. 

Healing takes shape in many forms, and keeping families together is an important way we assist in the healing journey. 


Your gift to Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio helps families like Joey and Valerie Hernandez stay close to their loved ones while receiving the care and resources they need.  Give the gift of FAMILY today.