A Happy Meal® and happy families go together like a Big Mac® and side of McDonald’s World Famous Fries®. After all, there’s nothing quite like getting a tasty meal and exciting new toy all in one fun, kid-friendly package to put a smile on a child’s face.
You may not know it, but with every Happy Meal you purchase, you’re also helping sick children and their families stay together. Here’s how McDonald’s Canada is helping serve up happiness across the country, one Happy Meal at a time.
Happy Meals help make happy families
Here’s some news that ought to bring a smile to your face: a portion of the proceeds from every Happy Meal purchased at McDonald’s, each and every day, goes towards supporting families with sick children who rely on the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Canada.
You may already be familiar with McDonald’s annual charity initiatives, like McHappy Day®, when Canadians stepped up to help raise more than $5.7 million in support of RMHC Canada and other local children’s charities this past May. Or the option to Round Up your total for RMHC in restaurants and at the drive-thru.
It’s all part of McDonald’s larger commitment to help children and families in need and make a positive impact in Canadian communities. Over the past five years alone, McDonald’s Canada, together with its independent franchisees, and guests, has raised over $65 million in support of RMHC. This has helped more than 100,000 families with sick children across Canada.
Supporting Canadian families when they need it most
Chances are, you already know someone who has directly benefited from Ronald McDonald House Charities—today, one in four Canadian families have either stayed at a Ronald McDonald House or Family Room or know someone who has.
For over 40 years, RMHC Canada has been providing support to families with sick children in need of medical treatment. Did you know? 2 out of 3 Canadian families live outside a city with a specialty children’s hospital, meaning if their child gets sick, they must travel for treatment. That’s where RMHC steps in, enabling access to children’s hospitals across the country in an affordable, inclusive manner.
There are currently 33 RMHC programs across Canada – 16 Ronald McDonald Houses and 17 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms – which, in an average year, allows RMHC to serve more than 26,000 families, giving them a place to sleep, do laundry, share meals and provide a sense of community support, while their child receives the medical care they need. And every Happy Meal you purchase helps make that possible.
“For families who rely on one of RMHC Canada’s 33 programs to access the medical care their sick child needs, a Happy Meal means so much more than just a meal. When you order a Happy Meal at McDonald’s, you’re not just putting a smile on your family’s face, you’re making a difference for so many families across the country who are caring for a sick child during their most challenging times,” said Kate Horton, Executive Director of RMHC Canada.
“This is what makes the Happy Meal so special each and every day, and why we’re so grateful to McDonald’s as our founding and forever partner for their unwavering support and commitment to our mission.”
A helping hand during a difficult time
For families like the Parmleys, who spent 98 nights at RMHC Alberta while their son Jaxon was in hospital, the support they received from RMHC made a difficult journey, a little easier. After sleeping with their child in his room in the ICU for multiple nights, the Parmleys were able to find room at a nearby RMHC location. “We were so thankful that we got in at a place like this,” they recalled. “If we did not have this opportunity, we would have been a family of four all in one hospital room or driving from the farm, and that’s over an hour away. So, we were blessed.”
The Torres, another family who benefited from RMHC Canada’s services in Alberta, said that the organization, and the people behind it, helped them get the support they needed when they needed it most: “The people who work at RMHC are very friendly, and they give a lot of support to the families who are going through a difficult time.”
“It feels like it’s a community – we all support each other. There are people on the outside who can’t relate,” agreed the Griffin Clunas family, adding that the ability to stay close to their child at RMHC BC & Yukon during her treatment makes a world of difference. “The fact that we are on hospital grounds gives peace of mind in case of emergency. If she spikes a fever, we’re right here.”
Canada’s RMHC Houses can currently accommodate up to 553 families each night, and with help from fellow Canadians and every Happy Meal purchase, that’s just the beginning. With the support of McDonald’s Canada, RMHC across Canada plans to nearly double the number of bedrooms available across the country to ensure even more families and their children will be able to receive the care and support they need.
How you can support
New this year, to celebrate World Smile Day on October 7th, Canadians are encouraged to purchase a Happy Meal and support RMHC across Canada in the process. Whether you’re ordering for your own family, or sending one to a busy parent with young children to give both them and their kids a much-needed smile break, there’s a ton of ways to give back to those you love, while supporting a worthwhile cause.
This year, DoorDash is donating $1 to RMHC Canada for every Happy Meal purchased exclusively through DoorDash from October 3rd through 7th (up to $10,000 CAD). That’s on top of the proceeds that already go towards supporting Canadian families with the purchase of a Happy Meal 365 days of the year!
So, there you have it, just one more way buying a Happy Meal can help bring a smile to families' faces.