After a couple of challenging years due to the pandemic, local McDonald’s owners are hoping this year’s McHappy Day will be the biggest – the happiest – ever.
Jason O’Neill, who operates four of the McDonald’s restaurants in Barrie, says funds collected in the city will benefit two children’s charities – the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at RVH and Ronald McDonald House. “In the past, we raised close to $50,000, within the Barrie area, as well as Orillia and Bradford. This year, we hope to match that, if not exceed it. It’s a great cause, it’s a great opportunity for people to come out and support the community.”
In the past, $1 from specific menu items was donated to charities. This year, says Trevor McKee, who operates the Bayfield Street McDonald’s, says it’s wide open, “it’s a portion of all sales. So, it’s anything that’s on the menu. If they can’t make it to the restaurant, and they can utilize McDelivery, they’ll receive free delivery on orders over $15.”
As for the charities, the NICU at RVH is drastically undersized. Mary-Anne Frith, co-chair of the Moments Matter campaign says each patient and their family gets about 35 square feet of space to deal with the difficulties they are facing. “So, this is incredibly important for us because the money and the funding is going to provide us with the space needed to be able to allow these families to have the privacy they need.”
The NICU is for families who have babies that are born either prematurely or with different health issues and challenges, where they can be provided with the intensive care they need to ensure they’re safe and healthy to be able to go home to their families in a reasonable time. Currently, the average stay is seven days.
Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families. When they have a sick child, there’s nothing better than the family coming together to support the child. And it’s an opportunity where families can relax, recharge, and stay right beside their sick child.
It will be a busy day at McDonald’s. If you’re attending in-person to pick up your order, Jennifer O’Neill asks that you be patient, “It is the happiest day of the year, but it’s also the most chaotic, crazy day of the year, but it’s all in good spirit and good energy and for children who truly need the help of our company to make things like this a reality.”
And she and Jason and Trevor can’t say enough about their staff, “the work that goes in from our team members and the contribution that they make, the pride they feel, is one of the big ingredients that makes it such an incredible day.”
Outside of Barrie:
- Funds raised in Orillia will aid the purchase of syringe pumps and vital signs monitors for the Pediatric Unit at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital
- Proceeds from the Bradford McDonald’s will support the maternal program at Southlake Regional Health Centre
- Funds raised at McDonald’s in Alliston and Angus will benefit the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation Redevelopment
- The McDonald’s restaurants in Midland and Elmvale will partner with Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation to raise funds to help newborns with Hyperbirubinemia (jaundice) access reliable phototherapy light treatment.
Note: in addition to food purchases, donations can also be made in the following manner:
- For a limited time, purchase exclusive merch from Peace Collective
- Donate $2 at McDonald’s and you’ll receive a McHappy Day heart* with a special video message.
- Buy a pair of McHappy Day socks* for $5+ tax at McDonald’s or though the McDonald’s app.