Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Orillia McDonald’s Restaurants were not able to move forward with their annual McHappy Day fundraising event for 2020. Instead, the local restaurants launched the month-long Healthcare Heroes campaign earlier this spring to show support for frontline healthcare workers while raising funds to help Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital fight the virus.
McDonald’s customers were invited to make a five dollar donation and in return received a coffee or tea in the size of their choice and a custom bumper sticker that read, “We support our Healthcare Heroes!” As a result, the $14,477.17 raised will help Soldiers’ purchase related equipment and supplies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic like ventilators, personal protection equipment and enhancements to ICU spaces.
Due to dining restrictions, it was largely a drive-through-led effort, explained Katja Bowman, General Manager of the Murphy Road location. “Despite the limitations, the program became a huge success,” she said. “It was fun for us to see the bumper stickers around town and know that our team was part of that.”
Restaurant owner/operator Jason O’Neill said the campaign was motivated by the overwhelming need to give back. “The team felt strongly about doing something to recognize frontline workers and to do some good in this time of need,” he said. “It was important to keep going, to keep moving forward and this gave our team great pride in knowing they were making a difference with the generous support of our customers.”
For Lisa Wanamaker, Development Officer with the OSMH Foundation, the McDonald’s Healthcare Heroes program had a two-fold impact. “In addition to raising these important funds, the visual nod of encouragement to the frontline healthcare staff via the bumper stickers was really nice to see,” she explained. “We are truly grateful to McDonald’s and their customers for their ongoing support of Soldiers’, especially during this pandemic.”
The money raised from the Healthcare Heroes program will support the purchase of ventilators and other hospital equipment needs related to COVID-19. If you would like to support Soldiers’ COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund, please contact the Foundation Office at 705-325-6464.