The Child Development Centre of Prince George & District got a boost Wednesday when Executive Director Darrell Roze accepted a generous donation of $15,836.47 from Eric Simmons, McDonald's operations manager.
The money represents half of what was raised during a recent McHappy Day fundraising effort. The other half of the funds raised at all area McDonald's franchises will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House that serves Northern BC families who need to take their children to Vancouver for treatment at BC Children's Hospital.
"McDonald's has always been fantastic supporters of us and have been long-time supporters with the McHappy Day funds that are shared between us and Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver that is another fantastic charity that helps northern families," Roze said.
The Child Development Centre of Prince George & District (CDC) helps children overcome unique challenges. The local centre offers specialized services that lead to greater independence and more freedom for children with special needs.
"Almost all the funds we received from the province goes to wages and benefits for our program staff so these funds really help when we go to purchase equipment for children with special needs," Roze said.
He gave an example of equipment purchased with these donated funds like a training wheelchair that's part of the early mobility program where children can learn how to operate a wheelchair by using one that's slower. The slow-moving wheelchairs offer children a safe way to learn how to navigate what's probably their first big piece of motorized equipment.
"For a lot of children it just allows them to get used to propelling themselves," Roze explained. "A lot of children don't understand the freedom they will get from the use of a motorized wheelchair and for the first time in their lives they can experience mobility and increased independence."
For Simmons, it's important to support the children of the north.
"It's something we've always done, gone 50/50 with Ronald McDonald House that is right beside BC Children's Hospital as more than 50 per cent of the house is filled with families from the north, so it still supports local and it's a McDonald's charity and we do like to focus on that but we also like to give locally so the Child Development Centre is a perfect fit."