When I was a little tike, McDonald’s was the highlight of every trip I took with my mom or grandma to Huron, SD.
I loved the toy in my Happy Meal, especially the Barbie figurines, remember those? I would inhale my McNuggets and fries so I could get my sock-footed tiny feet into the ball pit in the Play Place ASAP!
I still enjoy the occasional box of Chicken Nuggets, especially now that I actually eat them slow enough to taste them. But this weekend, I remembered another reason the big, red-footed clown named Ronald makes me happy.
I spent Saturday morning with fellow members of YNPN Phoenix (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) preparing breakfast for families with children currently receiving medical care in the Greater Phoenix Area. Eggs, bagels, bacon and Dunkin Donuts coffee all around, along with some arts and crafts of course.
The history of the Ronald McDonald House is pretty good stuff. In the 1970’s former NFL football player Fred Hill’s daughter was being treated for Leukemia. He got a first hand look at how families with sick kids spent their nights sleeping in waiting rooms and on hospital room floors. Four years later, Hill along with Dr. Aubrey Evans from the oncology department of the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and owners and operators of nearby McDonald’s, created a home-away-from-home for these families. The Ronald McDonald House was born, and has now spread all over the world.
If you’ve never been to a Ronald McDonald House, I recommend volunteering at one. There’s plenty you can do, maybe host an event or prepare a meal. Don’t forget about saving those pop tabs too.
I hope to go back and volunteer my time again some time soon. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be having a sick child and being away from home on top of it. Taking some time to enjoy coffee and do a little chit chatting with the guests is a morning well spent in my opinion.