The best and most rewarding part of my job is the work I do with Children’s Miracle Network®, a charity that raises funds for 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America. The Dairy Queen® system has been a partner with Children’s Miracle Network® for over 29 years raising over $91 million in that time for sick and injured children.
Each year I am actively involved in the planning and executing of the DQ® annual Miracle Treat Day activities and other fundraising initiatives throughout the year. I always knew how important fundraising for hospitals was, but it wasn’t until last year when I needed the help of a children’s hospital that it really hit home.
In July 2011, my son, Oliver, was born at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, a Children’s Miracle Network® member hospital. Weighing in at nine pounds, 12 ounces, Oliver was a full-term, seemingly healthy baby, and my husband and I were overjoyed with his arrival. On his third day in the world, we were getting ready to go home when a nurse came into my hospital room without Oliver in tow and told us to sit down. Our baby had an unexplained fever, which is taken very seriously in newborns, and had been taken to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
I felt like the ground had fallen out from under my feet and that my heart had been ripped out of my chest. Overcome with fear, tears spilled down my face and I felt incredibly helpless. Seeing Oliver in an incubator with tubes and wires everywhere was so frightening. All I wanted to do was to hold him and take him home, but I wasn’t allowed to. It was heart-wrenching.
Terms like dehydration, lumbar puncture and intense antibiotic treatment swirled around for the next couple of days and Oliver was cared for by a team of incredible nurses and doctors. I’m very happy to report that after 48 hours of intense round-the-clock care, Oliver was released to us with a clean bill of health. Those two days were the longest and most terrifying of my life, but I was incredibly comforted knowing that he was in the best possible hands.
We were very lucky that our baby boy wasn’t seriously ill. My husband and I saw other tiny babies in the NICU who had been there for days, weeks or even months. I’m sure that some of them never left. After this experience, my work with Children’s Miracle Network has even deeper meaning to me. I hope that we never need the hospital again, but if we do, I am comforted to know that it is there.
For more information or to donate to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, please visit:
Thanks to all of our loyal DQ® customers who went out and bought Blizzard® Treats on Miracle Treat Day on August 11!
DQ has been raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for 27 years now, and we’ve raised almost $90 million during this time. Miracle Treat Day is our signature fundraising event, and we appreciate all of you treating yourselves AND helping kids in need! Donations for Miracle Treat Day are still coming in, but we’re expecting to have a donation of over $4 million for CMN Hospitals from just this one day!
Want to hear another really cool thing that happened this year? Franchisee Delon Mork challenged his town of 6,000 people to purchase 25,000 Blizzard treats on Miracle Treat Day. If they met the goal – he said he’d jump out of a plane! The town of Madison, SD, rose to the challenge… check out the link to Delon’s jump below!
First off, we would like to thank all of our consumers who took part in Miracle Treat Day. Once again it was an amazing day. For those who are unfamiliar with Miracle Treat Day, it’s the one day during the year where a $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat purchase goes to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.
This year I had the oppurtunity to hang out with Miss America and the Blizzardmobile check out the video recapping this amazing day! If you missed Miracle Treat Day but still would like to donate to Children’s Miracle Network, you can still do that by visiting their website.
Miracle Treat Day is just around the corner – Aug. 5 in the US and Aug. 12 in Canada! It is a very special day for us at Dairy Queen® and we hope you can be a part of it!
Over the last 26 years, DQ® has raised over $81 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout North America. We are making miracles happen as we speak! Children’s Miracle Network treats 17 million children each year to help overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. It is truly amazing what they do! Last year, $4.5 million was raised on Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, and we are hoping to top that this year!
We hope you will come out to a participating DQ® store to help make miracles happen. When you buy a Blizzard® Treat on Miracle Treat Day, $1 or more will benefit your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. All funds raised stay local, so you will be helping the children in your own community!
On Miracle Treat Day, treat yourself to a Blizzard Treat while you help to save and improve the lives of children. Visit miracletreatday.com to find a participating location near you.
And check out the video below of John Gainor, President and CEO of International Dairy Queen Corporation, as he talks about the incredible power of Miracle Treat Day.
Allow me to introduce you to nine-year-old Kaitlin Clutter of Manchester, N.J. She is one of the thousands of reasons to support Miracle Treat Day on Thursday, August 5 when participating Dairy Queen® and DQ® Grill & Chill® locations across the U.S. will donate at least $1 from every Blizzard® Treat sold to benefit Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Kaitlin is an amazing young lady. I had the good fortune of meeting her when the DQ Blizzardmobile tour kicked-off in New York to celebrate the 25th birthday of the Blizzard Treat and raise money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network.
While it might not seem like a big deal that Kaitlin came out before the crack of dawn to join us in announcing the tour on the CBS Early Show and then came to Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey to help us hand out Blizzard Treats to the staff and hospitalized children, believe me it is. You see, Kaitlin was born with Spina Bifida, a malformation of the spine and spinal cord that comes with a host of complications. Kaitlin has faced hydrocephalus; a tethered spinal cord; severe club feet; bowel, bladder and kidney problems; reflux; asthma; and paralysis of the lower legs.
But, there she was on that day in April, smiling and enjoying a Blizzard Treat on national television and then helping serve Blizzard Treats at the hospital.
What strikes you when you meet her, aside from her cute freckled face, is her unbridled enthusiasm and incredible spirit. She brought Blizzard Treats to all of the kids in the hospital lobby who were too sick to come outside, actually asking the nurses if she bring them Blizzard Treats as well.
At one point, the lobby was empty except for the guard at the desk and me. Kaitlin, with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step, said to the guard, “Hi, how are you doing today? Did you get your Blizzard?” When the guard answered no, she quickly turned on her heels and bounced back outside to get the guard his Blizzard Treat.
What’s hard to believe when you meet her, is that doctors told Kaitlin’s parents when she was born that she’d have such severe complications she’d never perform the most basic tasks. She would never crawl, walk, see, hear, speak, learn or eat. But, good thing for all us — no one ever told Kaitlin that. She has made it through every hurdle and every surgery she’s faced. This is a fantastic young lady whose smile from ear to ear is contagious.
Thanks to the miracles performed at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country, kids like Kaitlin are given a chance. In Kaitlin’s case, it’s our chance to enjoy the bright smile and infectious personality she shares with all who meet her.
So, we hope to see you at one of our participating Dairy Queen locations on August 5th for Miracle Treat Day. I know Kaitlin will be there sharing a smile and a story.
What has red spoon windshield wipers, red lips on the front grill, upside-down Blizzard® cups for rear-view mirrors and the ability to create a snowstorm wherever it goes?
Here’s a hint:
It’s the DQ®Blizzard®mobile! Our fully-functional brand mobile is currently touring the United States and Canada, visiting 25 cities from April to August, with approximately three stops per city.
All stops include handing out FREE world-famous Blizzard Treats in the brand-new Mini size (the Mini Blizzard Treat will be available in DQ locations this summer), as well as music and emcee interaction. Some events will also include the Blizzard Blaster–a giant, upside-down inflatable Blizzard cup with coupons swirling around inside. A person can go inside the blaster to try to grab coupons. And the forecast calls for snow flurries–the Blizzardmobile comes equipped with its own snow-making machine!
There is even a fundraising component during the Blizzardmobile tour for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). CMN canisters will travel with the vehicle to collect donations throughout the tour, and the last two stops–on Aug. 5 in Minneapolis and Aug. 12 in Calgary, Alberta–will take place on Miracle Treat Day (MTD) in each country. On MTD, participating DQ operators donate $1 or more to their local CMN Hospital for every Blizzard Treat they sell in their stores.
For anyone not able to witness the Blizzardmobile in person, check out the DQ Facebook page. It will include photos, tour stop information, videos, commercials, webisodes and much more. Other elements on the DQ Facebook fan page include a “Capture the Cup” photo challenge, a Facebook “Photo Grid” where you can to tag your friends as the Blizzard Treat that best represents them, and the “Pick Five,” in which you choose your top five Blizzard flavors. Go to http://www.facebook.com/dairyqueen now to get all the details!
Like so many people in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, we here at IDQ were looking for ways to make a difference and to help. On Thursday, Feb. 4, and Friday, Feb. 5, 45 corporate employees of International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ) volunteered at the Feed My Starving Children site in Chanhassen, Minn.. We packed a total of 78,336 meals during those two days!
In addition to the meals that we packed, IDQ made a donation to Feed My Starving Children to help defray the cost of ingredients and packaging of the food. It was a great experience and so rewarding to know what a difference a few hours of our time can mean to children and families in Haiti and other countries!
If you are interested in learning more about Feed My Starving Children, visit their website at http://www.fmsc.org or check out their Facebook page.
We have a strong Community Service Team here at the Dairy Queen corporate headquarter in Minneapolis, and in addition to the year-round work IDQ does on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network, we are always looking for new opportunities to serve in our community. In fact, “Service” and “Supporting our Community” are two values the entire IDQ team holds dear.
What are you and your families, or the companies you work for, doing to make a difference? I know that there are more good deeds happening than are ever noted in the media!