Local McDonald’s Help Keep Families Close
MOBILE, AL – In 2022, McDonald’s restaurants from throughout south Alabama and the Mississippi coast contributed $163,764 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile. The owners of the local McDonald’s have been supporting RMHC of Mobile since it opened in 2000.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our mission partner –McDonald’s,” Paul Giardina, executive director of RMHC of Mobile said. “Through programs such as Round-Up, penny per Happy Meal, and other in-store promotions, they continue to help keep families near each other while their child receives life-saving medical care in one of the area hospitals.”
The relationship between McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald Houses dates back to the early 1970s. The first Ronald McDonald House opened in 1974 and was inspired by Kim Hill, a four-year-old who battled leukemia while her dad, Fred, a Philadelphia Eagles football player, and mom, Fran, slept on waiting room chairs and ate from vending machines so they could always be by Kim’s side.
When Jimmy Murray, general manager for the Philadelphia Eagles, asked what could be done, Dr. Audrey Evans, a pioneering oncologist at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia, gave him a list. At the top was a house near the hospital where parents could rest to be strong for their children. Dr. Evans believed that family was an integral part of children’s care.
Murray approached McDonald’s owners with the idea, and they donated the proceeds of Shamrock Shake sales to the purchase of what became the first Ronald McDonald House.
“Our local McDonald’s owners expect their contributions to be greater in 2023 thanks to the enthusiasm of their managers and crew members around the “Round-Up” program and the many customers who generously round up their totals,” Giardina said. “Like the founders of the first Ronald McDonald House, who believed that no child should face the weight of illness alone, our owners enthusiastically support our House and the nearly 700 families we serve every year.”