Friday, 25 September 2015

Hope, Healing and Happy Meals

When does a clown become a symbol of hope? When does a burger become a method of healing?
When you walk into a Ronald McDonald House.

It is probably a given that at some point in our lives we have had a Happy Meal at McDonald's. I know I still eat the nugget one I just order a toy for a girl and pretend I am taking it home to my child when in reality I will eat it myself in the car with no witnesses.

What makes it so Happy? Is it the joy it gives the child who gets to take home that iconic box? well yes but more so is the joy it provides the children and families that rely on the RMH. For the past decade .10 from each Happy Meal goes towards funding the RMH. And let me tell you there is a lot of those little iconic boxes of joy sold each year.

On September 17th I sat in McDonalds and watched as a grown man ordered a Big Mac meal (but I bet he really wanted a nugget Happy Meal) and witnessed the look of confusion on his face when his order was given in a Happy Meal box, he shrugged his shoulders and moved on. This happened to the next customer and the next and the next... It was funny to watch the state of confusion but the day itself had a serious message.
My thank you cards!!!!

Every meal that day was a Happy Meal because it held a special message to the customers of McDonalds. Each box held one of 17 cards drawn by a family that has stayed at a RMH, in Canada. It wasn't asking for money, it wasn't trying to get you to buy more McDonald's, it simply said thank you.

If you don't know; Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada works to give sick children what they need most – their families. They provide a place to stay for out of town families who have a seriously ill child getting medical treatment. We are fortunate enough to have a RMH here in St John's Newfoundland since 2012. With 15 bedroom suites it serves more than 500 families a year.

As a mother I appreciate the level of care and service that is provided by the RMH Because when your child is sick all they want is you and as a parent you want nothing more than to be with them every second of the day. With the RMH they can do just that. It provides a place to stay, to be a family and to let everything be normal for a little while. The staff handle the small things to help you focus on what's important; your child.

Newfoundland is a province filled with many outport and rural communities. They must travel to St. John's to visit the Janeway Children's Hospital for treatment. Many of them hours away from the homes and loved ones. The RMH here is a vital service.

Sheldon and Selina Carroll with their thank you cards. 
 Parents Selina & Sheldon Carroll from Labrador have been staying at the St. John's RMH since March when their son Michael was born premature. They are the creators of the card pictured above with the tiny footprint on it- Michael's. This is what Selina had to said her thank you note.

"Through all our ups and downs on Michael's journey the staff and volunteers here at the RMH have been so supportive and loving. From all the home cooked meals, happy faces and late night chats our stay has been second to none. We have met get friends here that we will have for life, that is a great gift."

If that doesn't make it a Happy Meal, I don't know what is.

To learn more about the RMH visit

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