THAYER -- On Jan. 27 nearly 60 McDonald's Restaurants and 25 Great Southern Bank locations in the Ozarks including Thayer McDonald's will be placing red paper hearts on their walls and windows.
Through Feb. 14 those who visit the store will be asked to purchase a heart for $1 to help the Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks. Each heart along with the name of the person who bought the hearts will then be placed on the walls and windows of the business. This is the 11th year for the Share a Heart Campaign locally.
The Ozarks Ronald McDonald House is located in Springfield and this year's campaign is expected to provide 15 percent of the $300,000 needed to operate the house. One hundred percent of the funds needed to operate the house comes from the private sector.
Since the Ronald McDonlad House was established 16 years ago, 72 Oregon County families, including 17 from Thayer, have been served. Last year alone six families from Oregon County, stayed a total of 124 hours stayed at the Springfield house.
Norma Hilburn owns the Thayer McDonald's.
The Ronald McDonald House serves as a "home away from hone" for families of seriously ill children in the Ozarks. The mission of the house is to provide lodging, comfort and emotional support during the difficult time of caring for an ill child.
The nearest family to benefit most recently from the Ronald McDonlad House is the Doug and Sarah Irwin family from Gainesville in Ozark County Their daughter, Charity, was born two months early. She weighed 2 pounds and 7 ounces at birth.
The Irwins said due to the Springfield Ronald McDonald House they were able to be close to their daughter while she received treatment at a Springfield hospital.
An added bonus to helping ill children is that with every dollar donated or heart purchased the contributor will have the opportunity to win a Ranger 175 DVS Bass Boat and Trailer.
The drawing for the boat and trailer will be May 1.