Round-Up for Ronald McDonald House Charities

This post is brought to you by the McDonald’s owner/operators of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but the personal experiences are our own.

I had always seen the cardboard pop-tab collection houses as a child, and I knew who Ronald McDonald was, but my first personal experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) was when my nephew Emmitt was born at 28 weeks with CMV. He was born in a small rural community and was transferred to a larger city to receive the specialized care that he needed.

Emmitt’s mom was a teen mom, new to our city, alone and scared. She rode in the helicopter with Emmitt when he was transferred, so she didn’t have a mode of transportation once she arrived at the hospital. There were so many unknowns and everything happened so fast she didn’t even have a chance to let us know she was in town. RMHC was an amazing resource for her! The house was a great place for her to be until she was able to reach out to us, and until we could prepare our apartment to allow her to stay with us. She also would occasionally stay at RMHC when Emmitt had a big surgery or treatment early in the morning so she was right there within walking distance of the hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities – Upper Midwest

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest’s mission states “We, in partnership with our community, provide a comfortable and caring home-away-from-home that supports keeping families together and reduces stress during a child’s serious illness.” Combined, RMHC of the Upper Midwest serves on average 6,700 families a year!

RMHC of the Northland provides the following amenities to pediatric patients and their families:

  • 5 private rooms with bathrooms
  • A volunteer-cooked dinner every night and brunch on weekends
  • A help-yourself pantry and community kitchen
  • Private nap and shower rooms for day use
  • Laundry facilities
  • A cozy living room with a fireplace and stunning views of Lake Superior


FAQ in the Northland

Can families from any health care facility utilize RMH-Northland if there is space?

RMHC of the Northland provides families with seriously ill and injured children from the Twin Ports and across the Northland a caring and comfortable home-away-from-home while they navigate a child’s health crisis. Families will work with social work teams for the Northland House referral process.

How is RMHC of the Upper Midwest funded?

The McDonald’s owner/operators of Minnesota and western Wisconsin along with McDonald’s corporate offices are significant fundraisers and supporters of RMHC. Funds are raised through various efforts, including donation boxes, Shamrock Shake promotions, and Round-Up for RMHC. These promotions contribute over 20% towards the RMHC annual budget.

Although the McDonald’s system is an important corporate partner, RMHC rely on the support of the entire community and greatly value all financial and in-kind donations. That is where you come in – keep reading!


Round-Up for RMHC in Three Easy Steps

As mentioned, there are many ways to support RMHC, but in the effort to not add anything extra to your to-do list, we’re going to teach you how to Round-Up! You have a busy night of homework and activities ahead, you need to feed your family anyway, why not make McDonald’s your default go-to supper when you can’t make one more decision in a day? Here is how to support RMHC without adding anything extra to your mental load:

Step One Head to a McDonald’s drive-thru or dine-in if available in your community.

Step Two Make your order – my daughter’s fav is “chicken nuggets with chocolate milk, double fries and three ketchups, please.” Yes she makes the order herself through the back window. I usually go for an iced coffee and a fries. (I miss the snack wraps!)

Side Story When I was in my third trimester with my daughter, I craved fries, and not just any fries, only McDonald’s fries. Supposedly, there are old wives’ tales about the correlation of McDonald’s Fries specifically, and fertility/IVF success rates – just google “fertility and IVF superstitions” and you will see for yourself. DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice or sound truth, just a common superstition. If you have a story about this correlation, share in the comments, we would love to hear!

Step Three Tell the cashier at the payment window that you would like to Round-Up, they may even ask you if you would like to, just say “Yes!” 🙂 If the cashier does not know what you mean, kindly ask them to seek out a manager. Ask for a receipt if you need it.

{If you prefer to absorb knowledge visually, check out our Instagram video Reel as we go through these steps.}

Bonus take a look around the center counsel and cup holders in your car. Do you have any loose change floating around? Gather that up while you are waiting in line and deposit it into the RMHC coin canister at the payment window. Even a penny helps!


RMHC is a cause my husband and I support because we experienced first hand how the resource impacted our extended family. The Ronald McDonald House was a home away from home for Emmitt’s mom, and literally played a part in saving his life. Don’t forget to Round-Up for RMHC!

Previous articleApple Spice Cookies, A Homey Fall Recipe
Next articleSafe and Healthy: Twin Ports Mental Health Resources for Children
Andrea Jang
A lake girl at heart, Andrea is thrilled to be a Duluthian! She lives in the Hillside with her husband, daughter (plus two angel babies that are with them in spirit), and two rescue pups. As a bi-racial and multicultural family, they have hopes and dreams of visiting her husband’s family in South Korea someday soon. Tiny joys that make her heart happy include: doodling, searching for sea glass, coffee with friends, fiber art, plants, a good vintage thrift find, music and great food & drinks. She also finds purpose in serving on the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Justice (DEIJ) committee at her daughter’s school, and also on City Mom Collective’s Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) committee. You will find her building community, connections and friendships in the northland as the owner of Duluth Mom. She invites you to visit her on Instagram or on LinkedIn.