This year is my second as a blogger on behalf of McDonald’s Canada and the McHappy Day fundraising program for Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. As most folks who have read this blog in any detail are aware, I spent most of 2003 in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children with my infant son, who is now 10 years old. I was fortunate in that we had family to help us out with accommodations, food, and so on, while DS recovered from what seemed like an interminable list of procedures, from cardiac catheterization to bronchial and tracheal stent insertion to full-on open heart surgery.
But what happens if you find yourself hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from home, seeking the best possible medical care for your child, and you don’t have friends or family in that particular city who can put you up for a while and offer you food and solace? That’s where Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada comes in, and they’ve been offering families of seriously-ill children an accessible, inexpensive home away from home since 1981. The story continues on their Web site:
Today, there are 14 Houses from coast to coast and six Family Rooms. At Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, we are the overarching organization that supports this network of Houses and Family Rooms.
While our Houses offer 10,000 Canadian families each year a place to stay during their most difficult times, many have to turn families away due to lack of space. To decrease our turn-away rates and to meet the ever-present demand, we’re expanding our House and Family Room network.
By 2014, Ronald McDonald Houses will be able to accommodate 465 families each night – more than twice what was available in 2010.
How is all of this financially possible? Every year, in early May, on McHappy Day, $1.00 from the sale of Big Macs, hot McCafe beverages, and Happy Meals is donated to Ronald McDonald Houses and local children’s charities across Canada.
On any given day, on my way to work, I can be spotted in my little grey car ordering a coffee (two creams, two sugars) and a McMuffin sandwich at a local Drive Thru window. So tomorrow, on May 8th, why not join me and make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner count? If nothing else, you will have earned the gratitude of the approximately 10,000 families who will need to stay in a Ronald McDonald House this year.
(Disclaimer: A donation in my name has been made to Ronald McDonald House Charities® as compensation for this post. All views expressed are my own.)