Changes coming to Ronald McDonald House charities

Changes coming to Ronald McDonald House charities

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Your McDonald’s experience is soon going to change.

Tuesday the fast food chain released its new “round up” program in the United States and Canada. The program started in Europe and it’s an opportunity for everyone to donate to the Ronald McDonald house by rounding up the cost of your meal to the nearest dollar.

The way the new roundup program works is you come to any one of the kiosks, place your order and then it will ask you if you want to round up to the nearest dollar.

For nearly 45 years Ronald McDonald House charities has made sure families with sick children are able to stay together to receive the care they need.

Currently the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire serves over 6,000 families.

For families like Sherri Armitage and her quadruplets who were born at just 32 weeks, the Ronald McDonald House was a critical part of the process.

“We needed a place to stay so that we would be closer to the hospital so that we wouldn’t have to drive back and forth, it’s difficult having a baby in the NICU having four babies is overwhelming and I wanted to spend every moment that I could and the Ronald McDonald House offered us a place to stay," she said.

The Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire is excited about the new way for customers to give back.

Ronald McDonald House executive director Bill Sorochak says the old way of collecting donations through canisters is not keeping up with our changing culture.

“Our society has gone to cashless so our canister program is probably going to do about $30 to $40,000 if we’re lucky this year, the projections with the new round up program is going to increase that to $60 to $70,000 with just our 57 stores here in the Coastal Empire area,” he said.

For the Armitage crew, it’s been exactly five years since they stayed in the house. They’re glad the new round up program will continue to help Ronald McDonald House charities.

“When you have child or a loved one in the hospital, the last thing you want to worry about is finding a hotel or sleeping on a cot in the hospital, you want a place where you can get a nice meal and a good shower and just feel warmth,” said Sherri, Griffin, Lily, Mae, Paul & Samford Armitage.

McDonald’s says any meal can be rounded up to the nearest dollar and 100 percent of the proceeds stays right here in the community to help even more local families.

The Ronald McDonald House also gets one penny for every pound of french fries sold from their owner operators, which contributes an additional $78 to $80,000.

They also receive one penny for every happy meal sold giving them another $40,000.

WTOC has been partners with the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire for 32 years.

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