Have you ever seen your nearest Ronald McDonald House up close? Or been inside one of the Houses? If you have, we think you’ll agree that the Ronald McDonald House Charities does everything within its power to make their House feel like yours.

Your house is your home; but sometimes life throws you a curveball that takes you away from your home. When a child is seriously ill or injured, families only want the absolute best care possible - and sometimes that care means traveling quite far from home. What is a family to do, burn through all their vacation time and savings on a pricey hotel stay? That’s the last thing a family needs to worry about at that time.

To a child, nothing is scarier than not having Mom or Dad with them, with helping hugs and soothing smiles.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities know that many families travel far from home and spend several weeks or months to get the necessary treatment.

Ten dollars. That’s the typical request that the Ronald McDonald House asks for per day for a stay. Revenue received from families covers barely one-third of operating costs for each House. Donors and volunteers make all of this possible through fundraising projects, donations, and the nearby community pitching in wherever it can. Volunteers make the difference in the lives of all the families that are impacted by a Ronald McDonald House. From renovations, to books and supplies, the Ronald McDonald House Charities depends on its critical volunteer force.

What can Ronald McDonald House Charities do with ten dollars? To start:

  1. Every family staying at a Ronald McDonald House has a private room with sleeping quarters and a private bathroom. Rooms are designed to feel like home, with all the comforts you’d expect, but with extra thought to what a family is going through. Families can expect and appreciate a private space to get away from the hospital waiting rooms filled with families of other patients.

  2. Families are stronger when they are together, and this helps everyone heal – not just the patient. Giving a family a place that they can go and be together is priceless, and this is what every House offers.

  3. A family staying at a Ronald McDonald House is quite literally right there with each other, and with their child’s medical team. Sometimes a decision needs to be made without delay, and most Houses are adjacent to hospital complexes for just that reason.

  4. Every House makes sure it feels like your home, to the best it can be, with amenities like a full kitchen for making home-cooked meals where they can sit together and feel like a family.

  5. Staying at a Ronald McDonald House gives you the chance to feel like you’re at home, with books, Internet service, on-site laundry services, and food storage helps families avoid having to absorb yet more cost by eating at restaurants or hospital cafeterias all the time.

  6. Play areas for kids, especially siblings of patients, help younger children stay active and keep occupied. Being away from home for an extended period of time is hard enough without having to pack up the entire toy box and bring it with you – taking up extra space in the car (or plane!) and then in your room.

  7. Many families that have stayed at a Ronald McDonald House have spoken of friends that they’ve met during their stay, and those new friendships are stronger and last longer because of the shared bonds and support during trying times.

  8. A family that is away from it’s home may not know anything about the area surrounding the House, other than the hospital. Most Houses have plenty of friendly and knowledgeable staff that can offer advice, directions, and helpful suggestions because they’re experts at helping families have one less thing to worry about!

  9. The Ronald McDonald House never turns away a family, even if a family cannot pay to stay.

  10. Perhaps the greatest of all things that the Ronald McDonald House Charities can do with ten dollars is give a family hope – hope that there’s a better tomorrow, and without having to worry about all the little things that could go wrong or cost money at a hotel, there’s a silver lining at the end of every day. Does your ten dollars work hard in 63 countries around the world to offer programs and services for families and children?

Does your ten dollars impact nearly 6 million children and their families? Does your ten dollars help families save over $700 million in out-of-pocket lodging and meal expenses? Do you want to see how you can make $8.40 of the ten dollars in your wallet fund these programs around the globe?

All those dimes and quarters dropped into the Donation Boxes for the Ronald McDonald House Charities at McDonald’s restaurants may not seem like much at the drive-through or the cashier counter, but it all adds up – to a lot! The Donation Boxes are the largest ongoing fundraiser, and last year alone more than $54 million was collected to help children and families. Just think – if every McDonald’s customer dropped just one penny into the Donation Box at each visit, that alone would raise over $250 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities! Think how much father that could go with a ten dollar bill!

Your ten dollars can also teach children early on about the importance of giving back and helping out other children and families. Next time you see a Donation Box, talk to your child about the meaning of the Box, and how it helps other families. Then, consider letting them drop spare change into the Box.

Local McDonald’s restaurants generously help fund portions of the annual operating costs of the Houses, through these Donation Boxes and other methods, but the majority of funds are raised by corporate and individual donations.

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