Give a Heart program helps support families staying at New Hyde Park not-for-profit while loved ones receive treatment at neighboring Cohen Children's Hospital.
New Hyde Park, NY - October 27, 2017 - Long Island McDonald’s Restaurants – with the help of more than a few generous customers – dug deep over the summer during their second annual “Give a Heart” fundraising campaign; on October 27, the fruits of their labor was presented to the Long Island Ronald McDonald House in the form of a check for $95,263, a sum that will go a long way to helping the many families that rely on the New Hyde Park-based not-for-profit during some of the most trying periods of their lives.
The Long Island Ronald McDonald House caters to the needs of families of seriously ill children who are being treated at the neighboring Cohen Children's Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House, for the families of children being treated at Cohen, provides the possibility of not only being close at-hand to their loved one at all times, but it also a place to sleep, unwind, relax, and recharge so that they can focus their energies on the needs and well-being of their child.
The Long Island Ronald McDonald House caters to the needs of families of seriously ill children who are being treated at the neighboring Cohen Children's Hospital. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Matt Campo, Executive Director of the Long Island Ronald McDonald House, noted that the very generous donation will go a long way to assisting the families that have come to depend on the brief respite his organization can provide to those who are struggling with health issues faced by a loved one.
“This is our second year of expressing gratitude to the Long Island McDonald's owner-operators…they allow the Ronald McDonald House to use their restaurants as a vehicle to fundraise for our organization. And believe me, $95,000 is a lot of money,” he said. “The ‘Share-A-Night’ program is where this money is going...it allows us to not to have to ask anyone for a donation to stay here. Normally, we may ask a family for a donation of $25 a night, but some families can't afford that. So the Share-A-Night program bridges that gap so that families that may not be able to afford it aren't asked for a donation.”
(L to R): Elaina and Dawn Deloria, along with Peter and Sarah Ashley, pose with Ronald McDonald and the $95,263 donated by Long Island McDonald's restaurants. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
The Give a Heart program raises money for the Long Island Ronald McDonald House by selling paper hearts to customers in participating McDonald’s restaurants for $1 each; last year, the program raised $65,000, and Campo attributed the large increase in funds generated this year to improvements in communication with individual restaurants and a greater effort to help get the word out about this very important charity campaign. Obviously, their efforts in that regard were a huge success, and Josh Kaufman, President of the Long Island McDonald's Owner and Operators Association, said he was looking forward to this program continuing for years to come.
“Thank you Long Island customers and others visiting our stores that donated $1 for our Give a Heart campaign this year,” he said. “Your support has been amazing, and I am happy to say that we surpassed last year's donation. You have all helped to further the mission of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.”
The Ronald McDonald House, for the families of children being treated at Cohen Children's Hospital, provides the possibility of being close at-hand to their loved one at all times. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Sarah Ashley of Belgrade, Montana, is one of the many people who will benefit from this amazing program; she is currently staying at the Long Island Ronald McDonald House with her son Peter, who is receiving treatment at Cohen Children's Hospital next door. Ashley and Peter both suffer from Chiari Malformation, a genetic condition where the brain slips down into the spinal canal and blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, in addition to compressing the brain stem and nerves in that area.
“We have been here five times in the last year-and-a-half, and I have four children all with the same condition,” she said. “We've been here a lot, and we absolutely love the Ronald McDonald House. It really feels like a home away from home…they treat us like family, and it's a really, really special and unique place.”
Dawn Deloria and her daughter Elaina also suffer from Chiari Malformation - it is typically passed down through families - and because of it, they are also frequent guests of the Long Island Ronald McDonald house whenever Elaina is required to fly into New York for surgery, something that she's endured far too many times already in her very short lifetime.
“I started having surgeries when I was 6, and I'm 20 now, so we've been coming here for a long time,” Elaina said. “They definitely treat you like you’re family here...it's always been a very calming experience at the Ronald McDonald House. It's just so much more comfortable than anywhere else. It's great what they do here for people.”
(L to R): Elaina and Dawn Deloria, along with Peter and Sarah Ashley, pose with Ronald McDonald. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Luciana Montuoro, Long Island McDonald’s Marketing and Public Relations Director, said that her group saw no better charity to help with their fundraising efforts than the Long island Ronald McDonald House, due to the hope and comfort they provide for families facing some of the most difficult times in their lives.
“In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this donation gives true meaning to being thankful. We are so touched by the overwhelming support from our customers demonstrated by the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island’s ‘Give a Heart’ campaign,” she said. “We realize that there are so many worthy charities one can donate to, and yet customers wholeheartedly supported the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.”