This coming Saturday, the 17th October 2015 sees a very special day on the calendar for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia (RMHC Australia). This year they’re trying something a little different, and it was this that sparked my attention and made me want to jump on board and promote the #McHappyDay charity event. I’ll talk about this different approach shortly, but I want to give you information on why I am supporting this charity.
When I agreed to promote this worthy charity, I put the call out on my personal Facebook page to see if anyone I know has used any of the Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH) and was joined by my wife doing so as well. I also put the call out in a few groups to cover as many bases as possible. I wanted to find out exactly the who, what, where, when, why and how experiences of people I know or am connected to online.
Sure I could have just visited the RMHC Australia website to find out that approximately 13% Australians have used a RMH or know someone who has used one of their facilities, but I wanted to hear from people in my own circle. Up until last week, I was one of the other 87% of people who hadn’t used a RMH, nor could I have claimed to know someone who has used one, but when I put the call out, many friends came back either replying to my post, or sending me a private message to talk about their experience.
Now I can’t be the only one who is in the 87% of people who haven’t used or who do not know someone who has used this when in fact the opposite is true. Maybe people in your own circle of friends or extended family have been helped by this charity organisation and you just don’t know it. And if you have children of your own, although you’d rather not think about it now, one day you might join the 7,500 families who use a RMH each year. Of course, we all hope and some will pray that it won’t be the case.
I was going to pick one or two people who responded to my call out and interview them about it, but when more responses came in than what I had expected, I didn’t want to single out any, and leave other worthy stories out. Instead, I took a look at what everyone wrote, asked a few further questions of some, and came up with some thoughts of my own of what I would write about.
One friend commented that they used a RMH but they’re not a fan of McDonald’s. I know quite a few people who aren’t fans of the fast food outlet for various reasons. For the most part, many of my friends and extended family are becoming very health-conscious. Some are quitting sugar. Some are quitting processed foods. Some are quitting meat. Some, like me are even quitting all animal products.
If you look at what McDonald’s have done in the past with their McHappy Day, it has always been “buy a Big Mac and we’ll donate $1 to RMCH.” Even before these friends of mine who have quit sugar, quit processed foods, quit eating meat, or quit using any animal products, plenty of them were happy to have a “Mac Attack” or do a “Maccas run,” but so many people I know do not like Big Macs. Even though my former self – the meat-eating omnivore that I was – could appreciate the two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun, there are many who just aren’t fans.
I often wondered, even with all that advertising, and with all the signage in and around a McDonald’s restaurant on McHappy Day, how many of those attending the fast food outlet on the day were buying other burgers they preferred more and assumed that a portion of the profits would be going to the charity anyway. I also wonder how many were happy to buy a burger they didn’t really like, just to support the cause.
Personally, I don’t frequent Maccas as much as I used to, but when I do, these days it’s to get a cup of coffee at the McCafe. We also stop in at McDonald’s when going on long family road trips to let the kids have a run around in the play areas, and for me to get a coffee and for all of us to visit the toilet which are generally cleaner and working better than those on roadside rest areas. We also accept invitations to kid’s parties that are held at our local Maccas.
In the past I have visited a McDonald’s to partake in the charity event and purchased a Big Mac so that my purchase counted, but since becoming a vegan this year, although I’m sure I could ask for the burger less the animal products, a “burger” consisting of lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun isn’t that appealing. Even though thanks to the Create Your Taste menu you can make some (questionable) vegan friendly burgers, those aren’t part of the charity donation.
So what does some who is health-conscious, quitting sugar, quitting processed foods, or has gone vegetarian or vegan but still wants to support the charity do?
I guess, you could just donate money to them via their website. You could stick the loose change from your McCafe herbal tea, soy latte or Create Your Taste “burger” wrapped in a lettuce “bun” (yes, that’s seriously an option) in the donation money box on the counter. Or, if like many people who give to charities, you want to get something in return, why not buy a pair of Ronald Socks?
You can support seriously ill children and their families by buying a pair of these socks for only $3 from your nearest McDonald’s, and best of all, you don’t have to wait until McHappy Day. But of course, it’s more fun to visit on the actual day, right?
Please note, while Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia (RMHC Australia) sent me a few pairs of socks and a tee to wear to promote this event, this is not a paid sponsored post and the words, ideas and opinions are all my own. You can find out more about the event by visiting the RMHC Australia Facebook Page, or follow @Maccas or the #McHappyDay hashtag on Twitter. I’ll be wearing my Ronald McDonald socks, will you be wearing yours on Saturday? I’ll be modelling my socks on my Instagram account later this week so follow me to join in the fun.