On a bright Wednesday morning a friendly lady welcomes us in the VUmc Ronald McDonald House. She’s been expecting us, to come and sign Media Injection’s very first sponsor agreement: in the next three years the Children’s Fund (Kinderfonds, the Dutch chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities) will be using Media Injection’s social media platform to employ social media more frequently and more effectively towards their mission.
Marja van Bijsterveld, who has been the fund’s director for a year now, is keen to learn all about Media Injection. We, in turn, inquire about all ins and outs of the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund — and after that, it’s time to sign the agreement.
Live, heart-warming engagement: Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Fund sets the example
Ronald McDonald House Charities are not subsidized at all: they are 100% dependent on donations. A tour through the House shows its daily practice. There are some main sponsors who are heavily invested, like McDonalds and Coca Cola; the annual charity ball generates a lot of publicity; as does the cycling tour HomeRide. Yet the help of smaller, local sponsors who often offer in-kind donations is at least as heart-warming: someone recently donated a year’s supply of washing powder to the VUmc Ronald McDonald House; the House is currently looking for a sandwich toaster (the old one just broke down); and a local company cleans the House’s windows four times a year, for free. All daily chores in the House are done by a legion of 100 volunteers.
These volunteers, as well as the employees, are deeply involved in their Ronald McDonald House’ s daily routine. This involvement brings a special energy to a House, which can of course get filled with emotions. Its guests are parents, of mostly severely ill children. Meeting them left us deeply touched by their stories and dedication, but also by the satisfaction and gratitude that is clearly present in the House: the staff’s satisfaction because they make a difference for the guests, and the parents’ gratitude for finding a listening ear and for being close to their child. Those grateful parents and families often want to return the favour to the House. One aunt, working at food multinational Dr. Oetker, once donated a supply of baking goods. This is pure engagement by real-life ambassadors!
Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund and social media
The Children’s Fund aims to increase social media usage among its Ronald McDonald Houses. Social media offer the Houses a way to share the touching personal stories behind clinical files with the world. These stories help building a large community of (online) ambassadors. And Media Injection is happy to play a part in that for the next few years. It’s a pleasure for us to help this charity, and we hope to learn from the experience as well.
Do you want to volunteer at a Ronald McDonald House? Click here.
Do you have an extra sandwich toaster? The House would love to hear from you!
Ronald McDonald Huis VUmc Amsterdam
1081 JD AMSTERDAM