We've seen them for years, the boxes in the drive through at McDonald's asking us to drop in our change to support Ronald McDonald House charities. If your family has been blessed with good health, there's a good chance you don't know much about what Ronald McDonald House charities does. For those unfamiliar, Ronald McDonald House keeps families together when their child needs medical care. Which is why I'm asking you to help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri during their Day of Change on Thursday October 15.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri offers families whose child is receiving care in Columbia a place to stay. And many families from many areas of Missouri have chosen MU Health Care's Children's Hospital for their child to get the best care possible. Additionally the charity has some programs to help make families lives a little easier while spending many hours in the hospital with their child receiving treatment.

In 2019 the Ronald McDonald House served 458 families from 71 counties. Families stayed an average of 11 nights, and families stayed a total of 5,654 nights. Ronald McDonald House says their "House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest."

This year has been challenging for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri because of COVID-19. The House has incurred additional expenses because of the cleaning supplies, masks and gloves need to keep families safe. Their food budget for 2020 has been maxed out. And with the pandemic keeping parents isolated with their kids in rooms at MU Health Care’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, their Lunch On the House program deliveries have increased from once to twice a week.

So please, on Thursday October 15, when you're driving through McDonald's drop your spare change into their donation box. Or better yet, round up your meal to the next dollar to help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri continue to help the families who need it.

I've had the privilege to learn about and help a few children's hospitals over the years I've been in radio. And Ronald McDonald House, and the free services they offered their young patients and their families, was a blessing for every hospital I had an opportunity to learn about.

So please, give on this Day of Change, and all year long. Or if you'd prefer to donate some time, get involved as a volunteer. You can learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri and what they do here. Finally, if your family needs to stay with them you can find information about that here.

32 McDonald's Restaurants support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri including restaurants in Sedalia, Columbia, Jefferson City, Warrsaw, Moberly, Lake Ozark and Osage Beach.