Visiting Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House Charities are a big deal for a regional medical center out in the middle of the south plains of the Texas Panhandle.  Not only is it a remarkable piece of utilitarian architecture, it is full of people working hard for good reasons.

When we closed our little toy store a couple of years ago, there were a lot of toys left.   We’ve managed to give most of them away (except for my own personal stash, and my closet of toys for kids who come to call…) but when we started packing to move, we found another small stash of brand new toys that needed a good hom.  So today — I took stuffed animals, bears with clothes to change, and a few odd baby rattles to Ronald McDonald House here at the TTU Medical Center.  The first time I took them a load of bears, I called and asked what they needed — but today I just showed up — and boy were they excited.  With the holidays right around the corner, they now have a full pantry of Santa.

So here’s the thing.

This is what corporate charitable giving should look like.  McDonalds is the undisputed king of fast food — we all know that.  And however much we make fun of them, they are the reliable place to stop when traveling, and the best fast, nutritious breakfast on the run — period.  They should probably burn the machines that make Chicken McNuggets, but that’s a whole other issue.

The bottom line is that they not only set the bar for consistent, clean, and reliable in fast food prep, they also set the bar for using corporate funds to do something healthy and beneficial to individuals in crisis, and to our society as a whole.  Giving the families of children in critical and long term medical centers a close, safe, clean, and comfortable place to stay is the work of corporate angels.  Whatever else McDonalds does as a company, they did this part right.  They make peoples’ lives better.  And they keep doing it.

This is what corporations should strive for.  Making peoples’ lives better.

As opposed to Chick-fil-a.  Home of using corporate charitable funds to encourage discrimation.  To make distinctions between those who deserve and those who do not.  Whatever else Chick-Fil-A does as a corporation — they got this part wrong.  They could have funded medical research.  They could have funded scholarships, or holiday toy drives, or book-mobiles or traveling dentistry….  But they didn’t.

They could have practiced pure religion — caring for widows and orphans.  The homeless. Veterans.  The handicapped.  The mentally challenged.  Single parents struggling to make ends meet.  People caught in the corporate greed machine that started the financial and home-loan crisis.  People injured in gun accidents.  People who have lost family members to food poisoning or anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

But they didn’t.  The corporation so-o-o-o Christian that they won’t sell chicken sandwiches on Sunday, chose to use their money to try and push their religious beliefs — which evidently they do not put into action — on others.

So bravo, Ronald McDonald House Charities, for demonstrating what good can come of good intentions.

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McDonalds Egg McMuffin

So, go have the best, balanced, lean, and high protein breakfast you can get for cheap through a car window — an Egg McMuffin — and feel good about it.

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Egg McMuffin®

English Muffin
Egg
Pasteurized Process American Chees
Canadian Style Bacon
Liquid Margarine

300  Calories
18g Protein
12g Fat (19%)
30g Carbs (10%)
820mg Sodium (34%)
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“An Open Letter to Chick-Fil-A” — and the Dilema it Leaves Us

This is a letter by someone I don’t know.  But he represents such a vast number of people I do know and care about —

JOHN PAUL – An Open Letter to Chick-Fil-A.

This presents a dilemma.  I know why Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays.  Anybody raised in a fundamentalist protestant church knows why.  Because somebody wanted to “keep the Sabbath holy,” but didn’t know enough to realize that the Sabbath meant Saturday.  And besides, what fundamentalist wants to share a day off with a bunch of Jews?  And what lunatic would close a business on Saturday?

So we all knew that Chick-Fil-A was run by those kinds of arbitrary rules.  And I understand that.  There is and will always be a segment of the population who believe they have the one and only true truth in the world, and everybody else is either choosing to disregard the truth, is too stupid to know the truth, or have been persuaded of a lie.  They are a very absolute people.  Everything in their world is solid black and solid white — like the little cows in their ads.

And that’s fine.  They’re entitled.  It is, as they say, a free country.

And as long as I didn’t know all the things discussed in this open letter and the supporting documents linked in it — it didn’t matter.  They make good food for a fair price.  No MSG.  No trans fats.  Lots of fruit and veggies.  They’re reliable.  They have a gluten-free menu.  They try and treat their employees fairly.

But now, having read and searched out to be sure of all the things in this letter — I know of other things in their black and white world which are counter to my own beliefs and practices.  And I can’t ever un-know what I know about Chick-Fil-A.  And I don’t think I can ever drive through one of their outlets again without being reminded where my dollars may get applied through their charitable giving.

And I have no idea how to resolve this.  No amount of boycotting is going to change their black and white beliefs.  They would rather lose profits and even go out of business than waver one iota from their absolutes.

And I know that I (and we — my family) inadvertently support other businesses who channel money into things we wouldn’t approve of — if we knew about them.  But we don’t — and so life goes on.

And we DO know about Chick-Fil-A.  And it makes me a little sick to think such a well manged and honestly good little eatery will be off the list of choices — but it has to be.  Because I can never not know these things about them again.

If I cared so much about the crimes being committed by banks that I would move my money to a small, locally owned bank or credit union — if I care so much about the business practices of other institutions that I would take my business elsewhere , then it’s not really a choice.  This is like leaving a country club that wouldn’t allow people of certain races to be members.  Or choosing a different university based on prejudicial admittance policies.

It’s such a little thing — but little things are important.