Portland, OR. “Small actions can have a big impact,” said Lilly K.H. McFadden, Director of Programs & Community Engagement for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Participants (like the superhero shown above) were raising money from home for the nonprofit. May 13th marked RMHC’s first Neighborhood Heroes Campaign. By encouraging communities throughout Oregon to partake in various events from home, the campaign raised enough money to provide 300 overnight stays at the Ronald McDonald Houses for families living in rural Oregon in need of housing near hospitals for their sick or injured child.

A Volunteer wears cape for Week 1 rally.

A family works on fundraising by celebrating their favorite superheroes.

After receiving inquiries from locals asking how they could contribute to the foundation, Ronald McDonald Charity Houses created the Neighborhood Heroes Campaign to engage the local community and fundraise for the cost of the stays, always free of charge to the impacted families but averaging about $115 to $200 per night for the Ronald McDonald House.

Previous guests, board members, and volunteers reached out to friends, family, and coworkers to recruit volunteers and participate in weekly themed events from their home. 

“We want to offer a fun opportunity for people to become the hero they want to be,” said McFadden.

Week 1 consisted of families and individuals dressing up in their favorite superhero costumes or favorite capes. McDonald’s hosted week 3’s “Neighborhood” theme by encouraging others to help their local neighbor, whether it be by picking up trash or mowing someone else’s lawn. One HR Company even hosted a dance competition. 

While COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have placed restrictions on rallying and fundraising gatherings, locals were able to show their support from home and through social media.

Additionally, Netrush, an online retailer, gave a $10,000 corporate sponsorship to continue the campaign for one more week. 

The Neighborhood Heroes Campaign ended on June 17th. Due to its success, the campaign will happen again next year. “We were honored to help the community step up and step in for our families, and have fun while doing it,” said Lilly K.H. McFadden, Director of Programs & Community Engagement.

From its first house in 1984 by OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oregon and SW Washington are placed in close proximity to hospitals, helping impacted families with sick children easily reach their medical center in Portland, Bend, and Springfield. Ronald McDonald’s House Charities are in four different locations; Portland East House, Bend House, South Waterfront House, and Springfield House. Each house has 79 rooms, equipped with a fully stocked kitchen and beds. 

From Ronald McDonald House Charities (Oregon & SW Washington):

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon & SW Washington provides access to medical care, a home away from home, and a community of support for seriously ill or injured children and their families.