A Naperville McDonald’s had cause for some mc-merriment on Thursday. The franchise at 3232 S. Rt. 59 helped its fellow Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana restaurants recently reach a milestone accomplishment.
“We are here today celebrating, reaching $1 million through our roundup initiative at this McDonald’s restaurant, which helped us, which was the restaurant that actually raised the last bit of change that a customer donated to reach a goal at this point of raising $1 million to support children and families staying at our Ronald McDonald Houses and family rooms in the Chicagoland area,” said Holly Buckendahl, CEO for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
$1 million supports Ronald McDonald House Charities
The money goes directly to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The nonprofit is known for helping families who have children going through a stay at a hospital. But it also brings some medical outreach straight to the public.
“It will also support, we have two mobile medical units that we work, or we run in partnership with Advent and Children’s Hospital to make sure that, that kids that need access to pediatric care, that we take that care to them. Every penny counts to help to the delivery of those services,” Buckendahl said.
Support to the family of a sick child
The provisions of lodging and support can mean the world to someone with a sick child. The Juarez family experienced it firsthand, having spent time at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital when their son Declan needed care.
“So in 2018, we were we lived there for three months and in 2020 we lived there for three months. The Ronald McDonald House is amazing. They were always there for us literally 24 hours a day. Sometimes we went back just to take a nap and shower and go back to the hospital. They provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. It was one thing that we no longer had to worry about where we were going to sleep, where we were going to eat. So it was imperative for us to be close to him and not worry about cooking or cleaning up. We could just get back to him as quickly as we needed to,” said Christy Juarez, Declan’s grandmother.
Round-up program at McDonald’s helps raise funds
Funds for the nonprofit are raised in part through the round-up program at McDonald’s restaurants.
“So when you come through the drive-thru, if you’re asked if you would like to round up to help Ronald McDonald House charities, it’s as simple as saying yes. And all that money, you know, for this year is going to equate to about $1.7 million over 460 restaurants in Chicagoland,” said Nick Kory, franchise owner of the Naperville McDonald’s, as well as 11 others in Chicagoland.
Naperville known for giving, mayor says
Last year more than 8,500 families were helped by Ronald McDonald House programs. The fact that it was this Naperville location that helped reach that $1 million fundraising goalpost to help more families seemed right on brand to the city’s mayor, Scott Wehrli.
“Naperville people have a big heart. And it’s no surprise to me that, that the giving in this community continues to be great. And when people decide to round up on their McDonald’s bill and donate back to a charity, it really says something,” said Wehrli.
With a Ronald McDonald Family Room located in Naperville’s own Edward Hospital, the funds raised could go to help someone who’s passed through the very McDonald’s that helped provide them.
“They’re going to have customers that have used a Ronald McDonald House. They have crew members that have received our services. So they care deeply about what that mission impact looks like. And so they’re doing their part to really make a difference to support families, because I also think they recognize it could be any one of them, any one of them family members, anybody in the Naperville area that might find themselves in a situation where they need our support and services. And so it’s nice to have the community paying it forward in this way,” said Buckendahl.
Buckendahl says the group hopes to hit the $2 million mark for contributions by the end of the year…rounding up support for families in hard times.
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