Philanthropy: Carrie Romano

For this issue’s special section, we asked philanthropic organizations from around our state to share their missions, success stories and plans for the coming year. We know our readers are generous and community-minded individuals. By sharing good works, we hope you’ll learn about a wide range of opportunities to get involved and help fulfill our partners’ missions.


The Ronald McDonald House has long been a mainstay of local support from its location on South Temple. As Carrie Romano, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area, explains, the organization prides itself on making life easier for those in the middle of a difficult challenge. 

“Our goal is to support caregivers like mom and dad so that they can actively participate in the healing and medical care of their child,” Romano says. “Here, they don’t have to worry about where they’re going to sleep or how they’re going to eat. They can actively participate in the healing of their child.”

At the Ronald McDonald House, families of children receiving attention at one of Salt Lake’s top-notch pediatric care facilities have it all taken care of for them. They have a place to stay, food to eat, and room to relax when needed. It makes a huge difference to a family needing to give greater attention to their infirm child.

But while those families will have everything they need, the Ronald McDonald House itself has a big need of its own: volunteers. Supporting more than 10,000 patient families a year requires a lot of manpower. Romano explains that having a robust volunteer force can make things even easier for families who could use a helping hand.

“Our mission is fueled by the community,” Romano says. “Anybody can go onto our website,, and check out our get involved tab to look at our adopted meal calendars. We also have volunteers and some of our biggest donors come in to answer the phone at the front desk or drive the shuttle. They love doing that.”

Unfortunately, ever since the pandemic threw the volunteer program for a loop, Romano has seen a real shortage of folks giving of themselves at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City. There is an urgent need for volunteers looking to support the staff  on site. 

“We have a staff  of approximately 50 employees and a 24-hour-a-day schedule. We simply cannot carry out our mission without strong volunteer support at every level,” Romano says. 

“Here, the volunteers don’t just do the fluffy work, we have volunteers that do the truly meaningful work. We need them and welcome them.”

And, as we enter the new year, now is the perfect time to volunteer.

The warm and fuzzy feeling of giving makes it all worth it. Romano has seen many volunteers over the years feel overwhelmed with the satisfaction of having helped a family in need.

“When people volunteer for us, they tend to have the most extraordinary experience, because it’s so direct they get such a clear sense of what their service means for people and the kind of hardships people are going through when they’re staying with us,” Romano says. “It’s an incredible feeling.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities

(801) 363-4663 • RMHCSLC.ORG

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