Community Champions: Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire

Community Champions: Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire has continued serving families of critically ill children straight though the pandemic.

“It’s a little bit at a time. I don’t think we miss 99 cents or 42 cents, but it adds up for us.”

Donations of just pennies - not seen and hardly felt - are making great sense for the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire.

“It starts simply. You go to a drive-thru at McDonald’s or if you go inside, and you can round up your order. The most you can donate is 99 cents down to a penny.”

With drive-throughs more popular than ever and debit card purchases so prevalent during the pandemic, the familiar counter coin boxes are not being used for incidental donations this year, Instead, McDonald’s has started a new fundraising program to support its 386 houses for families of critically ill children, including the Ronald McDonald House in Savannah.

“Really great for us is there are 65 stores, 16 owner-operators in the Coastal Empire area and we receive 100 percent of all those funds.”

Which means the families of sick kids staying at the house receive the benefit of those funds.

“One of the things we were able to do is we did our day job during COVID-19. This house has remained open. Just from the end of March to the beginning of August, over 1,200 family night stays were done here because our families needed to be here. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday, it doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas or COVID- 19, this house is 176 steps from where they have to be, and we’ve been able to keep the lights on.”

And now the community can help these WTOC Community Champions keep doing that job with a different type of change than it usually takes.

“And it’s a safe, a very safe way of fundraising. And for me, it always goes back to the French fries. you’re still going to get the best French fries that are out there and help critically ill children. It doesn’t get better than that.”

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