Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Canada Celebrates Family Day and the Critical Role Families Play in the Healing of a Sick Child

Video: See how Ronald McDonald House® Southwestern Ontario has helped the Mills family.

Three generations of smiles at Ronald McDonald House® Southwestern Ontario (Left to right: Therese Kouwenberg (Oma), Katie Mills (daughter) and Hanneke Mills (mother), a family who have stayed at the House multiple times during Katie's treatment) Photo taken by Melissa Doyle. (CNW Group/Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada)

A snapshot of how Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada helps sick children and their families across Canada (CNW Group/Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada)

To Mark the Holiday, RMHC Canada Gives Thanks to McDonald's® Canada for Their Support of Ronald McDonald Houses across the Country 

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - When a child becomes sick or injured, family life as we know it stops.  In an instant everything changes as families focus on the only thing that matters - healing their sick child.  With 70 per cent of Canadians living outside of a city with a children's hospital1, more and more families are required to travel to get the health care their child needs, adding to the stress of an already difficult time. From increased financial demands, job insecurity and balancing the needs of other children and family members, the journey of healing a sick child is often long, and uncertain. Thanks to Ronald McDonald Houses the journey of healing a sick child is just a little bit easier. As pioneers in what today is known as family centered care, each Ronald McDonald House® provides a home away from home for families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital.

As Family Day approaches, a holiday that recognizes the importance of spending precious moments with loved ones, RMHC Canada is giving thanks to McDonald's Canada for supporting Ronald McDonald Houses and helping give sick children what they need most…their families.®

"I couldn't have gotten through our stays in Children's Hospital in London without the help of the Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario", said Hanneke Mills, who has stayed at Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario several times over the course of her daughter's treatment.  "The House gives parents a place to go where they don't have to worry about anything but helping their children heal.  It gives parents security in knowing that they have a place to stay that is steps from their sick child, and that there will be a hot meal, a warm bed and an understanding ear if needed."

Since the first Canadian Ronald McDonald House opened in 1981, Canada's now 14 Ronald McDonald Houses, 9 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and 2 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles across the country have provided support for 246,507 families2.  As champions of a family together approach to healing, Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs have become highly regarded and much sought after by families, hospitals and communities.

"We now know that children heal faster when their families are with them.  As we celebrate Family Day, we are reminded and inspired of the deeply important role that Ronald McDonald Houses play in the lives of families of sick children," said Cathy Loblaw, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada.  "The Houses offer a place for families to stay together and focus on caring and healing their sick child, while also having the added support of other families going through similar experiences. Since the beginning, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited has been our unwavering mission partner, deeply committed to supporting Ronald McDonald Houses and their family together approach to healing."

As RMHC Canada's founding and largest donor, for over 30 years McDonald's Canada and its Owner/Operators have helped Ronald McDonald Houses support families of sick children across Canada.  One of the many ways McDonald's Canada provides support to RMHC Canada, is helping make Happy Meals even happier, by donating 10 cents from every Happy Meal® sold to Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada. A remarkable commitment that raised $4.6 Million in 2013, and $45 Million since the program began 10 years ago.

Together, the Ronald McDonald Houses are serving approximately 40 per cent of the families of Canada's most sick and injured children.  By the end of 2014, that support will grow from over 10,000 families served annually, to over 20,000 families each year across the Ronald McDonald House network of programs.

As a result of the wonderful advances being made in the medical community, more children are healing than ever before.  But that healing is taking more treatments, over longer periods of time, creating unprecedented and continuous demand for Ronald McDonald Houses. As we continue to grow to meet the needs of families, we are humbled by the more than $20 million required each year to operate the Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms and Care Mobiles in Canada. These remarkable community Houses have become safe havens of healing and hope across our country that would not exist without the support of many donors, partners and individuals. Today, we are honoured to celebrate all our donors, with a special thank you to McDonald's Canada as our founding and forever mission partner for their commitment to giving the gift of family.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, or to make a donation, visit www.rmhc.ca.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Canada
In 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada was founded to be the everlasting organization that would support Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in Canada. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for out of town families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital.  Completing our circle of support for Canadian families are 9 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, which provide an oasis of calm and support right inside the walls of the hospital, as well as the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® program in Calgary, Alberta. In 2012, the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses, 9 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and 2 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles served 13,327 families. By the end of 2014 that support will grow to serving over 20,000 families. As our largest donor, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Owner/Operators donate 10 cents from every Happy Meal sold to Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.


www.rmhc.ca
www.facebook.com/RMHCCanada

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1   Statistics Canada, 2011 (Calculation using municipalities)

2 As of December 31, 2012



SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

Video with caption: "Video: See how Ronald McDonald House® Southwestern Ontario has helped the Mills family. ". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be4jwpjwIXk

Image with caption: "Three generations of smiles at Ronald McDonald House® Southwestern Ontario (Left to right: Therese Kouwenberg (Oma), Katie Mills (daughter) and Hanneke Mills (mother), a family who have stayed at the House multiple times during Katie's treatment) Photo taken by Melissa Doyle. (CNW Group/Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140213_C9889_PHOTO_EN_36683.jpg

Image with caption: "A snapshot of how Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada helps sick children and their families across Canada (CNW Group/Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140213_C9889_PHOTO_EN_36686.jpg


For further information:

Jackie Elliott 416.642.7899 or jelliott@golinharris.com