What is the first thing that pops into your head when I say the word McDonald’s? There is going to be a whole range answers, but my answer might surprise you. It has nothing to do with food, locations, health or even cost!
My very first memories of McDonald’s was my Grandpa taking me to get a cheeseburger after our family went to the local rodeo. I did not even get a happy meal, just a single cheeseburger wrapped in that famous yellow wrapper. I sat on my Grandpa’s lap and happily gobbled down my burger enjoying every last bite. We did not eat out often so it was a real treat, and something I have always remembered.
As I got a little older and attended school, my local McDonalds would give us a FREE Cheeseburger if we got all A’s and B’s on our report card. So once again we would load the whole family into the car and head to town with our report cards and enjoy a special lunch. As a teenager it became a place we would stop in for a quick bite to eat, often late at night after a school dance or some other event.
But 11 years ago when my son Matthew was born missing half his heart (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) McDonald’s became much more than an happy memory or a place to grab a burger. I was far from home, my tiny son was in a hospital bed fighting for his life everyday. It was all I could do to just make it from one minute to the next. Ronald McDonald House gave me a place to sleep, food to eat and even shampoo to wash my hair. Because often our trips were so rushed we did not even have time to pack, we just went with the clothes on our back.
Knowing what they gave me, in my time of need I make an effort to pay it forward and donate to our local Ronald McDonald House. You never know the value of something as simple as a razor till you have lived in a hospital for 3 weeks and shaving your legs again is a big deal. Just doing something normal is a glimmer or hope that life will be ok again.
So when I think of McDonalds … I am overcome with the feeling of being SAFE and CARED for. It started with snuggles with my Grandpa, then being encouraged to work hard and achieve good grades, and then arms open wide to help my family in our darkest hour!
That is why the A Thrifty Mom Family will always be a fan of McDonalds!
Ten ways you can help families today! (Taken from the Idaho RMH site)
- Help pay for a families stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
- Share your time and talents and Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House.
- Shop for items that families need the most. (PDF)
- Get a group together and make a meal.
- Be a baker! Help stock the cookie jars in the kitchen of the House.
- Make a gift in honor of memory of a loved one to celebrate their accomplishments and honor their life.
- Recycle! Save your pull tabs or old cell phones.
- Drop your spare change in a RMHC Donation Box at participating McDonald’s restaurants.
- Fundraise for us.
- Become a Fan of our Facebook page