McHappy Day is being hosted today at the McDonald’s restaurant in Swift Current as a celebration of four decades of providing smiles through Ronald McDonald House Charities locations across Canada.
The Canadian-born McHappy Day fundraiser will be held all day Wednesday, May 3rd, and $1 from every hot McCafé beverage, Happy Meal and Big Mac will support RMHC and other children’s charities. The fundraiser began in Canada and has now spread through McDonald’s locations in 18 countries throughout the world.
As an important fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon, McHappy Day is a big opportunity for the Southwest to share their support with the charity.
“Saskatchewan people are some of the most generous people we know, both in terms of our donors and our volunteers. We have literally hundreds of volunteers around the province and we really couldn’t be more grateful,” explained Kim Gilbert, Volunteer Coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon Ronald McDonald House opened in 1985, and over 18,000 families have taken advantage of this 34-room home-away-from-home when their sick children are receiving medical treatment.
McHappy Day is also an important awareness opportunity for the charity. Despite having been in operation for over 30 years, Gilbert notes that people in the province are still unaware they operate a Ronald McDonald House in Saskatchewan.
For families with a child aged 18 and under who is receiving medical care in Saskatoon, any family can stay at Ronald McDonald House for a recommended per night donation of $10.
“I know that that makes a big impact in terms of both keeping the families close together so they can be there for their children, as well as the financial impact that it has as well.”
Gilbert noted that she was almost immediately greeted by families who utilized the facility.
“The first two people that I talked to today were families who have stayed at the house. So we know we’ve had impact in this community. We know that this past year 13 families from Swift Current and area have stayed with us,” she said.
“It’s sort of inspiring and refreshing to hear from those people that are effected, that we’ve actually made a difference in their experience and their journey.”
While the focus of the day is fundraising, Gilbert said she enjoys the opportunity of thanking the McDonald’s staff for their important McHappy Day efforts.
“Without them we wouldn’t be able to serve families from really all across the province,” she said of their mission partner McDonald’s.
“Deepak (Swift Current manager Deepak Budhrani) does an amazing job of engaging the community. That’s half the fun to see how other people are engaged and committed to the cause.”