Put Those Wallets Away - Most Popular Gift for Teens This Season Doesn't Have a Price Tag

New survey results reveal only one per cent of teens say gifts are important

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - New survey results reveal that what your teen wants most this holiday season is actually closer to home than you think.

Released today, the Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada (RMHC) Family Pulse Survey found that what's most important to Canadian teens is not presents - it's spending quality time together as a family.

In fact, only one per cent of teens surveyed said that giving gifts to one another was important to them.

"Quality time together as a family, allows all of us to pause and connect during an often busy and sometimes stressful holiday season," said Cathy Loblaw, President and CEO of RMHC Canada. "And, for our families staying at a Ronald McDonald House, that time together is even more precious and important when you have a sick child being treated at a nearby hospital."

The survey also found that:

  • Children who spent quality time together with their parents were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their family life (91% vs 51%).
  • Surprisingly, parents and children agreed that eating meals, watching TV or a movie and going on vacation together were the top ways to connect with one another.
  • While both parents and children were satisfied with their family life in general, when asked about the top way family life could be improved, teens cited spending more time together (18%) while parents wanted more financial security (20%).

For the Breemersch family, being able to spend time together was one of the most valuable parts of staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The Breemersch family stayed at RMHC Manitoba, 3 hours away from their hometown outside Brandon, Manitoba, while daughter Katrina was treated for a brain tumour. "By being able to stay together, we could continue to do all the things we would as a family at home – from eating meals together to simple things like reading before bedtime," said Kristen Breemersch, Katrina's mother.

RMHC Canada's Family Pulse Survey was conducted to understand what was important to Canadian families today. "These findings mirror what we see and hear from our families in the Ronald McDonald Houses each and every day," said Loblaw. "Families like the Breemersch family need a little bit of normal at a time when their life is anything but. Staying close to your sick child, and being together as a family, are all part of helping families through their child's healing journey. Canada's 15 Ronald McDonald Houses and 15 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide that support for over 30,000 families each year."

Yet, the need for support continues to grow. Just last year, 2,282 families were turned away due to lack of accommodation. That's why RMHC Canada is asking Canadians to show their gratitude for family togetherness, while also helping more families of sick children stay together.

Canadians can go to Gratitudenumber.ca to get their family's personal Gratitude Number and photo, and then share it with family and friends on social media. By donating or fundraising their gratitude amount, Canadian families can show their support for families staying at a Ronald McDonald House.

To learn more and to get your family's Gratitude Number, visit www.GratitudeNumber.ca.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Canada 
In 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada was founded to be the everlasting foundation of support for Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in Canada. The 15 Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home for out-of-town families whose children are being treated at a nearby hospital.

Completing our circle of support for Canadian families are 15 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, which provide a caring place for families to rest and recharge right inside the hospital, as well as 2 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles, mobile health units that help to bring medical care to vulnerable communities in Alberta. As RMHC's largest donor, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its franchisees donate 10 cents from every Happy Meal® sold to Ronald McDonald House Charities, and McDonald's guests generously support Ronald McDonald House families by donating at the coin box in their local McDonald's restaurant. For more information on RMHC Canada, visit www.rmhc.ca.

About RMHC's Family Pulse Survey
RMHC's Family Pulse Survey was conducted in partnership with Leger. The survey reached 1,568 Canadians – both parents of children aged 0 – 18, and children aged 13 to 18 – to gauge family life today.

SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada

Image with caption: "The Breemersch family stayed at RMHC Manitoba, three hours away from their hometown outside Brandon, Manitoba, while daughter Katrina was treated for a brain tumour. This holiday season, they’re celebrating family togetherness through their family’s #GratitudeNumber, while helping more families of sick children stay together. (CNW Group/Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161207_C5320_PHOTO_EN_833281.jpg

For further information: To learn more about the findings from the Family Pulse survey or to request an interview, contact: Riddhi Gandhi, RMHC Canada, Riddhi.Gandhi@ca.mcd.com, 416-446-3427; Allison Goodman, Weber Shandwick, Agoodman@webershandwick.com, 416-642-7943

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Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada

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