US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
On Oct. 7, McDonald’s on St. Thomas officially launched their 2015 McHappy Day annual fundraising campaign, culminating on McHappy Day, Nov. 13. The launch was held at My Brother’s Workshop’s Café and Bakery on Back Street in Bakery Square, this year’s featured McHappy Day charity in St. Thomas.
Mildred Quiles, Operations Supervisor for Arcos Dorados on St. Thomas said, “For us at McDonald’s, McHappy Day is an important way to call attention to the needs of our community. We understand that every donation put back into our community is like an investment into the future of our Islands, and McHappy Day is our way of building that future.”
All proceeds from McHappy Day on St. Thomas will benefit My Brother’s Workshop, a non-profit organization that provides services for young people by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training, education and job placement. Last year, McHappy Day in St. Thomas sold 1,040 Big Macs for charity, raising a total of $5,712 for MBW.
My Brother’s Workshop was founded in 2007 by Scott Bradley, who works as program director, to provide mentoring, counseling, education, job training and job placement through a program that teaches woodworking and carpentry to youth, ages 16 to 24. The program is attractive to the young men and women as it pays them while they learn. About 80 percent of My Brother’s Workshop participants get a job or go back to school. In 2015, the non-profit opened a full service bakery and cafe on Back Street where kids learn skills in food preparation, baking and front-of-the house service. The bakery was able to open with help from donors and community support, including McHappy Day proceeds. With the café, they anticipate mentoring close to 100 kids per year.
“Because of the generous support from our community which includes the McHappy Day event, we are able to help transform the lives of our youth. With the funds raised from last year, we were able to give training to enhance our current program and help start the opening of our other training school at the new MBW Cafe and Bakery. Now with two training facilities, we will reach more young men and women and spread our message of hope to the territory,” said Jenny Hawkes, Executive Director of My Brother’s Workshop. “We are truly grateful for being selected this year for McHappy Day,” she added.
With McHappy Day fast approaching, McDonald’s restaurants on St. Thomas are creating awareness by promoting the sale of paper hands for only $1 to support My Brother’s Workshop mission. McDonald’s is also offering its McHappy Day corporate program for companies to purchase Big Mac coupons at $3.79 for employees, clients, family and friends. The coupons are to be redeemed for a Big Mac on McHappy Day, Friday, Nov. 13. The paper hands and coupons are available for purchase now through McHappy Day. During McHappy Day, the community can show their support by visiting McDonald’s restaurants and ordering a Big Mac, as Arcos Dorados is donating 100 percent of the Big Mac proceeds from St. Thomas to My Brother’s Workshop.
McHappy Day will also take place concurrently on St. Croix, with proceeds benefitting Lutheran Social Services for the Virgin Islands, which offers programs such as the Queen Louise Home for abused children, pregnant women, low income seniors and adults with disabilities.
McDonald’s celebrates worldwide McHappy Day to commemorate the Declaration of Rights for Children adopted by the United Nations in Nov. 1959. McHappy Day is a global event in which millions are generated annually through McDonald’s restaurants around the world for local charities. Arcos Dorados, the operator of McDonald’s restaurants in the Virgin Islands and throughout the region, generated more than $14 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities and other children’s non-profit organizations during last year’s McHappy Day campaign.