Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ronald McDonald House Charities: Helping Canadian Families For More Than 30 Years

As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I started worrying. Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing experiences – but I never imagined in a million years how emotional I would be when it came to my daughter.

I remember my first “alone” outing with Hannah – we had to get her blood tested because she was showing signs of jaundice. Chris had to get to work and was unable to stay. I hate needles (and blood) but I knew I had to be strong for my days old daughter. I don’t know how I would deal with my daughter being REALLY sick.

Thankfully we live in the same city that houses The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). And I am so grateful that Hannah is healthy.

Unfortunately, not every family is as lucky as ours and not every family has healthy children or lives close to a children’s hospital.

Thankfully there is Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
  • Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home for families of seriously ill children while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital. 
  • Ronald McDonald Family Rooms create a calm, nurturing space within the walls of the hospital, allowing parents to be just steps away from their sick child's bedside. 
  • Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a mobile health unit that enables free and easily accessible medical care for children and their families right in their own community.
Today, Canada is home to 14 Ronald McDonald Houses, 9 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and 1 Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

By 2014, Ronald McDonald Houses will serve 20,000 families a year. Since the first House opened in Toronto in 1981, they have served over 227,000 families of sick children.

The average cost to operate a bedroom in a Ronald McDonald House is $122.00 a night. Thanks to the support of McDonald’s and their many partners, families pay just $11 per night on average and no family is ever turned away due to their inability to pay.

McDonald’s generosity and family values are demonstrated daily through their actions:
  • 10 cents from the sale of every Happy Meal is donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, which creates a sustainable revenue source for Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs.
  • McDonald’s restaurants across the country host McHappy Day, which is an annual day of giving to support local children’s charities, including Ronald McDonald Houses.
  • Restaurants also collect public donations through coin boxes supporting their local community and Ronald McDonald Houses.
  • Every year, Owner/Operators, executives and employees of McDonald’s Canada volunteer thousands of hours and champion Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.
  • Many McDonald’s suppliers support Ronald McDonald Houses as contributors, volunteers and national donors.

RMHC is also the official charity partner of the RBC Canadian Open. Funds donated to RMHC through the RBC Canadian Open help families of sick children across Canada. Since coming on board as title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open in 2008, RBC along with Golf Canada have raised more than $5 million for charitable organizations across Canada that support children’s wellness initiatives. Throughout its history, Canada’s National Open Championship has generated more than $45 million in charitable proceeds for important causes.

Chris was given the opportunity to spend a day at the RBC Open with a friend and took these photos:

McDonald’s is proud of the incredible impact and support the Ronald McDonald Houses have on healthcare and healing in this country. And they remain committed to the founding vision of Ronald McDonald Houses as a “community house,” where McDonald’s, along with individual donors, corporate donors and community groups all work together to ensure families with seriously ill children have a place to stay and the support they need.

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

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