Despite Everything, I Love McDonald’s

The Back Story

When you are having a baby you are so excited.  The first game you play is Guessing Sex.  Although you weigh the pros and cons of boys vs. girls, all you really hope for is healthy.  Sometimes you don’t get healthy.

My daughter was born early, too early.  Consequently, her vision did not develop properly and until last year, she was legally blind.  We live in Grande Prairie, a small city in Northern Alberta, and after countless trips to Edmonton for specialist appointments, the financial burden was becoming overwhelming.  Then a friend recommended Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta. 

Enter Ronald McDonald House

In your life events will unfold that will reveal the best society has to offer.

Ronald McDonald House is the embodiment of human compassion and generosity.  From the outside it looks like a mansion or an old, renovated hotel.  Inside, it is a refuge for families with seriously ill or injured children – a home away from home.

What is in a Ronald McDonald House?

The rooms are enormous, big enough for your entire family including visits from Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.  The common areas on the main floor are divided into dining areas, kitchens, quiet rooms, and family rooms with everything a kid could ever want and more.   There is a full gym, laundry facilities on every floor, and an outdoor play area with a full play structure.  In short, it is the most amazing house on the planet.

Everything in a Ronald McDonald House, including operational expenses, comes from charitable donations.  The house is almost entirely staffed by volunteers.  Amazing.

What does Ronald McDonald House do?

Primarily, the purpose of Ronald McDonald House is to provide out-of-town families with very affordable accommodations while they are dealing with appointments, hospital stays, surgeries, and recovery.

We were driving to Edmonton every 6 weeks and staying at least 3 nights each time, eating almost all meals in restaurants, and paying about $100/night for hotel fees.  Although we were able to pay all our bills, the credit debt was growing out of control; soon we would be in over our heads.  Ronald McDonald House almost entirely alleviated that financial burden.  

Ronald McDonald House (Northern Alberta) rates are only $12/night.  The house comes equipped with a pantry full of donated food items at no cost to families.   Each family is given fridge and freezer space and has access to a full kitchen; so we were able to cook meals which was both cost saving and better for our family.  Most nights cooking wasn’t necessary because different groups of volunteers would show up to cook supper for the families to help alleviate some of the expenses of being away from home and more importantly, to give families more time with each other.

Support your local Ronald McDonald House

There are countless charitable organizations that do so much good in our world.  It can be difficult to choose where to contribute your charitable donations or where to donate your time as a volunteer.  If you choose Ronald McDonald House Charities know you will truly be helping a child and their family.

McHappy Day

Each year McDonald’s restaurants host a McHappy Day.  On this day $1 of the sale of Happy Meals, Big Macs, and hot McCafe beverages is donated to your nearest Ronald McDonald House.  McHappy Day is the biggest fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Disney Ending

After a miraculous surgery our daughter has normal vision with glasses and therefore we no longer require the services of this amazing charity.  However, they will always hold a very special place in our hearts.  We will always be a Ronald McDonald House Family.

 

 

Comments

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The Beginning
About James Hudyma

Dad. Husband. Teacher. Canadian. Guitar Picker. Songwriter.

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Comments

  1. I’ve seen how much the Ronald McDonald Houses help families during the toughest times. Truly a great organization. I still love McDs food, too. I once ate four Big Macs in one sitting. It was when I was in high school. I’m proud of the accomplishment!

  2. We have a Ronald McDonald house near the hospital on base here. I’ve heard they are really excellent resources. Thankfully, we have never had to use them, but they are highly recommended, especially if there is a financial burden. You said there are volunteers that cook for the families? I knew that people volunteered to clean and some do bring food at the one here.

    • Many times the volunteer group is a service group or club and brings all the food. On one of our stays, one of Edmonton’s fire departments showed up to cook. There were many happy moms. 😉

  3. Nick Downey says:

    Having heard some of the amazing things Ronald McDonald House does for kids and families, we made a point of taking my daughter’s Girl Scout troup on a tour so they could learn what the charity is all about and find ways to help. Just from walking through and hearing how much they do I was touched. I can only imagine the burden families with sick children carry, but I do believe what this charity offers can only help those families get through it all.

    • A quick glance at the charity and it seems to be a cheap hotel, but it really is so much more. I’m happy to hear your daughter’s troup was able to tour a house. Many people have heard of RMH but few have actually been in one.

  4. Just catching up with DRT. I am 100% with you on the Ronald McDonald House. Our son, when he was two, was in the hospital here in Auckland for a couple weeks with a bone infection. A bone infection?? I know. It’s apparently common in kids. But we were still terrified.

    Enter the Ronald McDonald House, which occupied a good chunk of the third floor of the children’s hospital. Amazing. Free beverages, they cooked fantastic meals — crock pot roasts, over roasted vegetables, etc. And expected nothing in return. I met families who were in it for the long haul (the dreaded 6th floor was the cancer ward) and RMH welcomed them every day for everything they needed.

    The boy and I get cheeseburgers at least once a week now.

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