Manoa - (HawaiiNewsNow) An estimated 400 children from Hawaii and the Pacific call the Ronald McDonald House their 'home away from home' from when they're on Oahu for serious medical treatment. Ramsay Wharton tells us how kids can help kids...with Happy Meal purchases thru the end of the year.
More on Ronald McDonald House: www.ronaldhousehawaii.org
A new McDonald's fundraising effort kicked off this week benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Hawaii (RMHC-Hawaii). From now until December 31, 2011, McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii will donate five cents to RMHC-Hawaii from every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal sold.
Since the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Manoa in 1987, the House provided a home-away-from-home for more than 22,000 seriously ill children and their families from the neighbor islands and the Pacific region while they were going through medical treatment in Honolulu. Over the years, a second house in Manoa was opened to meet growing demand, the RMHC-Hawaii nonprofit organization was developed in 1997 to garner new partnerships and programs, and the Family Room at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children was created to serve as an in-hospital respite and support center.
"Since its inception, RMHC-Hawaii has demonstrated its dedication to serving children and families in need," said Miles Ichinose, owner/operator of McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii. "Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals always make mealtime fun, and now give parents a way to teach children about helping others. In essence, it's kids helping kids."
Since 1979, McDonald's Happy Meals have combined quality food choices with exciting toys and games, creating lasting memories for families, fun for kids and inspiration for collectors. McDonald's has also evolved its Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal menu through the years – from all-white-meat Chicken McNuggets® to Apple Dippers (fresh, peeled apple slices) served with low-fat caramel dipping sauce, and low-fat white and chocolate Milk Jugs.
Happy Meal choices give customers an opportunity to enjoy a variety of quality food choices with their purchase, and now also provide added value – the knowledge that their purchase just helped RMHC-Hawaii support a seriously ill child and his or her family.
"We are so grateful for the partnership with McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii and their endless commitment to Hawaii's communities," said Jerri Chong, president and executive director of RMHC-Hawaii. "It is the support from organizations and businesses like McDonald's that enables us to continue our programs and services for seriously ill children and their families."
About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii, a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, offers support for families with seriously ill children by operating two Ronald McDonald Houses in Manoa Valley. Families from the neighbor islands and the Pacific region may stay there when they come to Honolulu seeking medical care for their children. Each year, hundreds of families make a Ronald McDonald House their "home-away–from-home."
RMHC-Hawaii also provides the Ronald McDonald House Family Room, a respite and support center inside Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. At the Family Room, most of those assisted are families from Oahu.
RMHC-Hawaii programs strengthen and support families during a very difficult time. For a child, having family members nearby to give love and comfort may be as crucial as medical care itself.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii relies heavily on community support to keep the Houses running, not only through monetary donations, but also through the countless hours of personal time committed by volunteers.