Ronald McDonald House celebrates Day of Change—how to make an impact

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Ronald McDonald House
Meet the people you help as a Ronald McDonald House Charities supporter. Photo via Shatia for Bham Now

Imagine your child is severely sick and hospitalized for weeks or even months. The last thing you should have to worry about is where to sleep or find something to eat. This is where Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) steps in, to provide a home and meals for families thrown into this tragic situation. Want to be a part of this amazing work? It’s as easy as heading to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal, and we’ll tell you how to do it. But first, meet a family who has been impacted by the generosity of RMHC supporters

Who you’re impacting—RMHC Family Story

Meet Shatia and her son Jelani, a previous Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) baby at UAB Women’s and Infant Center. This handsome little man was born at 27 weeks and spent months in the hospital before he was healthy and ready to go home with mom.

Due to major medical complications Shatia took the hour and a half ride from her hometown to the ER of UAB a month before Jelani was born. She was admitted and remained at the Women’s and Infant Center of UAB until the birth of her son.

Shatia hadn’t expected her month-long hospital stay or Jelani’s extensive recovery time in intensive care. With no place to stay in town besides an uncomfortable hospital room couch and not wanting to be over an hour drive from her baby, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA) came to her rescue.

“The Ronald McDonald House felt like home away from home, and you didn’t have to worry about where you’re going to lay your head or where your next meal is coming from because they provide.”

Shatia Walker, RMHCA Mother

The Ronald McDonald House not only provided housing and food but a community for Shatia. There are other NICU moms that she says she still keeps in touch with and were an incredible emotional support system throughout her time there.

The Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham continues its involvement in Shatia and Jelani’s lives to this day with check-ins and providing a place whenever they visit Children’s of Alabama.

Ronald McDonald House
You can help support families and children like Jelani through RMHC donations. Photo via Shatia for Bham Now

History behind Day of Change

Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. Photo via RMHCA

October 15 is a very special day for Ronald McDonald House Charities. It commemorates the opening of their first House in Philadelphia, founded in 1974. This anniversary is known as Day of Change, where the entire RMHC global system (377 Houses) rallies around Donation Boxes and the Round-Up for RMHC program at local McDonald’s Restaurants.

This day of celebration helps bring awareness to the fundraising happening every day at McDonald’s. It takes a community working together to help generate funds for the Ronald McDonald House that supports 5,300 Alabama families every year. Just in 2021 McDonald’s crews and customers have raised $273,443.81 in the state of Alabama to support the RMHC Houses in Birmingham and Mobile.

Rounding up your meal to the next dollar also makes a huge difference. Round Up funds have covered an outstanding 2,187 nights for Alabama families. With 73 rooms at the Birmingham location, 38 at Mobile and an average stay of 14 days, McDonald’s crew and customers have helped around 156 families stay close to their sick child.

Receive a treat in the Receipt Round Up Challenge

Ronald McDonald House
Donate for Day of Change at your local McDonald’s. Photo via RMHC.

To add an extra incentive to round up your total during your next McDonald’s trip, RMHCA has created this fun challenge.

The Receipt Round Up social media challenge allows for customers to receive a thank you treat from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama that can be used at participating McDonald’s locations.

How to participate in the challenge:

  • Round-Up for RMHC on your next visit to McDonald’s
  • Share a photo of your Round-Up Receipt to your social media account and tag @rmhcalabama

To qualify for the treat, supporters must make their post between Noon CST Monday, September 20, 2021 and 11:59 PM. CST Sunday, October 17, 2021.

Grab a t-shirt and show your support

  • RMHC
  • Ronald McDonald House

Another fun way to celebrate Day of Change is to buy the 2021 event t-shirt. Show off your new merch on October 15 and get everyone talking about the Ronald McDonald House.

Who doesn’t love wearing something comfy to work? RMHCA encourages workplace supporters to host Day of Change fundraising competitions, with the winners getting to wear t-shirts that Friday.

Be sure to order your event tee by October 3 for delivery before October 14 so you can wear your shirts on October 15.

Will you be a part of RMHC by participating in Day of Change? Let us know by tagging us @bhamnow!

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Miranda Shaffer
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