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Health

Share a Heart Fundraiser Benefits a Local Charity

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Michele Skalicky
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A fundraiser this month is raising money for a local charity that provides a home away from home for families with sick children.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

Share a Heart is the largest fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks.  The campaign started January 23rd and runs through the end of February at 63 McDonald’s Restaurants and other locations in the area. 

Customers can purchase a heart for $1, $5 or $20 and sign it.  The hearts are then displayed at McDonalds of Springfield.  Every heart comes with an entry form for the chance to win a $1,000 Great Southern Bank gift card.

Bonnie Keller, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, says their annual operating expenses are between $800,000 and $900,000 annually.  The money generated through the Share a Heart Fundraiser will go to operate the Ronald McDonald House locations in Springfield.  It will pay for things like utilities and supplies and to staff the two locations—one near Cox South and the other at Mercy--24 hours a day.

"That's the way that we create the environment for our families to really have a home away from home during a time that, for many, is the most difficult time of their lives," she said.

She says it’s important for families to stay together while they travel away from home to care for children who are in the hospital.

"There's been studies done that actually show that children recover more quickly when they have their family around," she said.

And she says the Ronald McDonald Houses allow families to support one another.

Learn more about Share a Heart at shareaheart.org.  You can also contribute by texting SHAREAHEART to 41444.