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Ronald McDonald House and the 'Power of One'

Charity offers campaign for small donations to help families with sick children.

Change will be in the air at McDonald’s restaurants on Friday, or perhaps in the donation boxes that support Ronald McDonald Houses.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is running  its “1 campaign” Friday, seeking donations of a single coin to support its houses that shelter families of children receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals. 

While donation boxes for the houses are standard fare at Long Island and other restaurants, this national, one-day drive is meant to collectively boost the campaign to fund houses that shelter families while their children are undergoing extended medical care.

The “Power of One” can make for a “change-making day” in the lives of sick children and their families, the charity said. The idea is that small donations can have a big impact.  Groups such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand and other local charities are also promoting the 1 campaign. Bigger donations are welcome, too.

The charity helps support such services as the New Hyde Park house, the only one on Long Island, which has 42 bedrooms and is currently operating at about 90 percent capacity. Families from Long Island and around the world stay there while children receive treatment at of New York and other area hospitals. 

The New Hyde Park facility has a $1.8 million budget, said advertising and marketing manager Chris Cosentino, and raises funds from individuals, charities and corporations.

Opening in 1986 with 18 bedrooms, the house underwent a major expansion in 2001. It will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September.

Bright, spacious rooms, kitchens and pantries as well as playrooms with educational toys used both by the children undergoing treatment and their siblings make up the colorful house. It was the 100th Ronald McDonald House to open.

Most of the donations that are raised from the canisters go to the local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) chapter in support of the Ronald McDonald Houses. The donations also support RMHC Scholarships and Grants. And the remaining amount goes to RMHC’s National fund to help all chapters throughout the U.S.

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