WASHINGTON, DC — McDonald’s launched the Round Up for RMHC campaign to make it easier than ever for customers to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Round Up is an exciting initiative that embraces the holiday spirit of giving all year long. When customers make a purchase at McDonald’s, they are presented with the option to “round up for charity,” and donate the change left to form a full dollar, to The Ronald McDonald House Charities. According to McDonald’s website there are also other ways you can give. “Every time you buy a Happy Meal®, we donate a penny to support RMHC programs and services, including Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®.”

Attendees were able to order their lunch and try out the new kiosks to round up for charity. Team members from healthcare partner, MedStar, Division Chief of Community Pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Dr. Janine Rethy and Program Administrator, Community Pediatric Joanne Odom also guided attendees on a personal tour inside the surprisingly spacious and doctors office-reminiscent mobile unit, showing how they administer services to patients:

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a mobile unit that brings medical, dental and health care resources to under-served communities. Many of these underserved neighborhood are home to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. In the Greater Washington area, a partnership with MedStar was established in 1992, providing excellence and quality care. There are over 38 Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs in the U.S.

The Hudson family shared their appreciation for the Ronald McDonald House. With tears in her eyes, Kristie shared testimony of how it impacted her family. Kristie and Kevin do not have access to specialized pediatric care where they live in Delaware so they had no choice but to travel. After driving 3 hours each day to Washington DC so their then one-year-old son Merrick could receive medical care he needed, it was not feasible to drive another 3 hours to return to their home. The Hudson’s were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House which is about 5 minutes away from the hospital, free of charge! This is why programs like RMHC are so important!

The Hudson family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Northeast DC.

In the DC, Maryland and Virginia area alone, McDonald’s owners/operators and customers have donated more than $13.5million to the RMHC-DC over the last 20 years. This is a substantial amount, but last year McDonald’s saw a 15% drop in the amount of spare change collected in its RMCH Donation Boxes inside the restaurants. Now customers can create change without a single coin!

The House has reached several impressive milestones, last year funding care for the families of more than 10,000 children and covering care costs for more than 884 family members of sick children at RMHC-DC.

McDonalds’ team members including Angele Busch of McDonald’s Brand Reputation and Julia More of Lee St. PR Agency along with owners and operators Isaac Green, Carlos Mateos Jr. and Bryan Cleghorn showed their support by attending.

Green shares, “. . .we as McDonald’s, by using technology to our advantage, give the customer an opportunity to give back and help donate to the Ronald McDonald House. It may not be you today, but it could be you tomorrow that has a child that may need to utilize the Ronald McDonald House in the future.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities, Greater Washington executives were also in attendance, VP of Development and Marketing Sarah Quillen and Asst. Director of Marketing and Communications, Rachel Taninecz, smiling as big as the smiley faces on happy meals.

The weather may have been a bit rainy outside, but the with all of the cheer and excitement in the air, the forecast inside the restaurant was 100% sunny and very warm.

Learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities and how you can support smiles and local healthcare in your community today.