Travelers around the world often see those familiar Golden Arches of McDonald’s restaurants. At each of those McDonald’s you will find donation boxes for Ronald McDonald’s House Charities. Those donation boxes take on a whole new significance once you have a seriously ill or injured child. My family learned this the hard way.
In June of 2008, one of my grandsons was hit by a car driven by an elderly woman. She didn’t even see him. That day was the beginning of our family’s nightmare. He was air-lifted to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan which is more than 200 miles away from our home. Our grandson spent almost two months first at DeVos Children’s Hospital, and then at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
We were fortunate to get a room at the Ronald McDonald’s House in Grand Rapids. Families can stay at a Ronald McDonald’s House at no cost, or are asked to make a donation of $25 per day, depending on the house. The Ronald McDonald’s House Charities Global Policy is that families are never turned away. The fee is waived if it is not possible for a family to pay. The generosity of volunteers and donors make this possible.
The first Ronald McDonald’s House opened in 1974 in Philadelphia and was called “the house that love built.” This year the 300th Ronald McDonald’s House is opening in the United States. These houses provide a “home away from home” for families with a seriously ill or injured child. The Ronald McDonald’s House where my husband and I stayed did exactly that. Our bedroom and bathroom were clean and quiet. The communal kitchen was stocked with food. There were laundry facilities, a library, a fitness room, and a comfortable living room. The staff was caring and understanding. It was comforting to be with other families who were going through their own nightmares. At the end of a long, stressful day at the hospital, it was a good place to spend the night.
Often, travelers stop into a McDonald’s for a drink, or a quick meal. There are more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. Their donation boxes are the largest source of ongoing Ronald McDonald’s House Charities Global fundraising. More than $18 million was collected in 2009 in those little donation boxes. The restaurants also donate all in-restaurant sales of USA Today to Ronald McDonald’s House Charities. The next time you are traveling down a highway, stop in at the McDonald’s along the way and drop your change into a donation box. Your generosity will give more families a “home away from home” by supporting this wonderful charity.
Ronald McDonald’s House Charities
*Just so you know:
Our grandson has had a long recovery with many hours of tough rehabilitation. Today, he is back to doing the normal ‘boy things’ that he loves. He has worked so hard to recover from the accident. He is my hero! Our family feels truly blessed to have him alive and well.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: The contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the charity described in this content.