Local resident named new director of corporate and community philanthropy for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego

Alison Urquia
Alison Urquia

Alison Urquia, a new North County resident, has been named the new director of corporate and community philanthropy for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, the nonprofit announced in a news release.

Urquia relocated from New York City, where she managed the $1.2 million budget and raised funds for a community center that offered a wide array of educational, recreational and social programs for students and families.

“In my job search, it was first and foremost for my new position that I needed to find an organization whose mission really resonated with me,” said Urquia, who moved west about eight months ago and lives in Carmel Mountain Ranch. “Ronald McDonald House was a perfect fit.”

Urquia said her new role with Ronald McDonald House Charities was a good fit in part because of her childhood experience watching a family member battling cancer.

“I know firsthand the financial burden and emotional turmoil that critical illness has on a family,” she said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego provides temporary accommodations for families of children who are hospitalized with life-threatening or other serious conditions. According to its website, about 1,100 families stay with them each year. Another 12,000 people use their Family Care Center for meals and other resources, and 120 siblings of hospitalized children participate in School Away from School and other programs.

“I think I would say long-term goals are really to build some new partnerships and to get some new corporate sponsors,” Urquia said. “The world has changed a lot since COVID. It’s changed the game a bit, and I really think that we can get some great new corporate sponsors in the door.”

Another goal is to expand enough to avoid waitlisting families who need help.

“The needs of our families exceeds our capacity,” Urquia said. “We have an average waitlist of 30 families every single night, and sometimes it’s as high as 50 families. My goal is to raise as much money as possible to try to get rid of that waitlist.”

She continued, “We see families dealing with a variety of medical crises. For families on the waitlist, it’s hard for them. We know some families sleep in their car just so they can be close to their child in the hospital and it’s too much of a burden to commute back and forth, or they just don’t have a place to stay. It’s really sad when you think about what families are dealing with.”

The nonprofit also provides clean clothes, toiletries and other supplies for when an emergency strikes and families suddenly find themselves in the care of Ronald McDonald House Charities.

“That’s why the house is so special, we’ve thought of all those things,” Urquia said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego is located at 2929 Children’s Way. For more information, visit rmhcsd.org.