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Paws for Sick Kids 2021 - 19-25 July

Ronald McDonald Charities Sydney's furbulous campaign "Paws for Sick Kids 2021" is back

For the second year running, Ronald McDonald House Charities Sydney (RMHC Sydney) is calling on all Australians – including our beloved 29 million pets within more than 60 percent of Australian households [1] – to make a positive difference for seriously ill children and their families by registering for a fun and unique campaign called 
Paws For Sick Kids.

While it is hoped that the campaign will raise enough funds for at least 625 nights of accommodation for the families of seriously sick children, Paws For Sick Kids is moreover designed to simply lift the spirits of Aussie families who are dealing with the struggles of a seriously-ill child in hospital. There’s no minimum amount to raise because Paws For Sick Kids is equally about spreading smiles.

Furry, feathery, scaly and slimy, pets of all varieties can take to the spotlight by partaking in campaign challenges of varying skill levels, from 19-25 July 2021. Registrations are now open via the
Paws For Sick Kids website.
There are seven campaign challenges all focussed on celebrating different pet personalities: from those who love attention and are social media mad, to the ideal subjects of hilarious memes, the active, the spoilt-rotten, lazy types, cheeky pets and brainiacs to-boot. 

Paws For Sick Kids celebrates all kinds of pets and the joy they bring.

Alternatively, participants can choose their own daily challenge during the week of the campaign to simply share their pet’s positivity with sick children and their families. 

All pic and video challenge entries that use #pawsforsickkids will be shared on a big-screen with families living at the Ronald McDonald House at Randwick as well as with those who use the Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms at Wollongong Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, and with social media follows of RMHC Sydney.

The campaign also features prizes to be won for those who raise a certain amount of funds for RMHC Sydney.

While a monetary donation to RMHC Sydney isn't required to take part in the campaign – with the digital content itself to surely help bring priceless smiles to the faces of sick kids – participants can recruit sponsors for each challenge to help raise much-needed funds for RMHC Sydney.

It costs $160 to accommodate one family at Ronald McDonald House Randwick for one night.

A 'home away from home' for families required to travel more than 100km for critical medical treatment at the Sydney Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Randwick has supported more than 22,000 families since its inception 30 years ago. Typically, it accommodates 750 families annually.

Sometimes these families find themselves facing financial ruin due to missed work and the cost of care required for their children and almost always, they find themselves in an exceptionally difficult state – emotionally, mentally and physically.

Callum Pugh (aged 8) with Wilbur
“Illness doesn’t discriminate. The families who need to stay with us at Ronald McDonald House Randwick surely wouldn’t have anticipated the need for our help but they nonetheless absolutely deserve it. Put simply, such support is fundamental to the wellness of our community as a whole and the onus is on us all to help these families,” says RMHC Sydney CEO, Simone Daher.

“As an independent charity, we are lucky that McDonald’s and its local franchisees provide ongoing support, but as the need for our House and corresponding programs continues to grow in demand, so too does our need to raise money from corporate organisations, community groups, individuals and our friendly neighbours. With more financial assistance, we can continue to do more for families that ask for very little.

Paws for Sick Kids is by design a cheerful campaign. We want it to brighten the moods of the families we support, as well as positively engage the general community. Pets provide a really unique form of comfort and we want to celebrate that as well as fundraise for our important programs and services,” adds Ms Daher.

In addition to the Ronald McDonald House at Randwick which is importantly situated within a five-minute walk to the Sydney Children’s Hospital wards, RMHC Sydney operates three Family Rooms embedded with Sydney Children’s Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and Wollongong Hospital. These spaces provide parents, carers and siblings with respite during long days spent at the bedside of a seriously ill child.

Furthermore, RMHC Sydney provides educational assistance for children with serious illness, helping them catch-up on missed learning following lengthy absences from school through its Learning Program which offers comprehensive assessment, therapy and tuition with qualified professionals. The Learning Program also caters for the siblings of seriously sick children in hospital.

The Randwick House’s Chief Cheer Officer, Wilbur the house dog, is a therapy dog in training and he provides a very welcome distraction to those who stay at the House.

“For so many families, they aren’t just away from loved ones and friends, they’re away from their pets and so Wilbur offers very special comfort and familiarity and under extraordinary circumstances,” says Simone Daher.

Meet Abby: 

Six-year-old Abby has been visiting the Ronald McDonald House at Randwick during the past three years whilst receiving treatment at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

For Abby, a trip in the car to Sydney meant one thing – a trip to the hospital. This made for a not-so-happy car ride, and for Abby and her family, this was a trip that they had to make quite often. Then Wilbur arrived! Abby couldn’t wait to meet Wilbur and even gave him his first toy – a little squeaky piggy. It was love at first sight.

Whilst Abby still needs to stay at the Ronald McDonald House at Randwick frequently, she does so with excitement, knowing that she will see Wilbur. You will hear her standing at the glass sliding doors announcing “Where’s Wilbur? I’ve come to see Wilbur?”

Need we say more? You and your pets can also bring smiles to the faces of seriously ill children like Abby by registering now at

[1] RSPCA statistic:

MEDIA RELEASE, 4th June 2021

Related Topics:

RMHC Sydney "Paws for Sick Kids" campaign - August 2020

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