LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas is celebrating 40 years of providing a home away from home for Arkansas families. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas was officially designated a chapter on Nov. 25, 1981. 

“We couldn’t be more thankful this year than to celebrate our 40th birthday on Thanksgiving,” RMHCA executive director Janell Mason said. 

The original eight-bedroom House opened as Parents and Friends of Children in 1979. Two years later the local McDonald’s co-op stepped in to help create a Ronald McDonald House in Arkansas.

After two expansions and outgrowing the first House, the current 32-bedroom house opened in 2016 to provide a home-away-from-home to more than 1,200 families each year. 

RMHCA will celebrate its 40th anniversary Thursday with a cake cutting ceremony and later in February at the 2022 Chocolate Fantasy Ball. 

For more information and ways to help RMHCA, visit