Thousands of people in and out of the country were moved and inspired by a Cebuano boy who studied outside a McDonald’s store in Mandaue City using a stool for a table.
Nine year-old Daniel Cabrera frequently reads and answers his homework outside of the restaurant, says McDonald‘s North Reclamation Restaurant Manager Irish Prak. “Daniel and I had a deal before. If he earned a star in school, we would give him a Happy Meal toy.
It all began with a Facebook post and a heartwarming appeal. Daniel’s photo went viral reaching top local and international news channels. People took notice and so did McDonald’s Philippines and its charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
Daniel will no longer have to worry about his school fees as McDonald’s Philippines granted him full scholarship to cover his K to 12 basic education and a monthly allowance for his school requirements and needs. Ronald McDonald House Charities Executive Director Marie Angeles led the turnover in Daniel’s alma mater, Subangdaku Elementary School.
“As Filipinos, we are proud to meet a boy so determined to succeed in life. It is with an open heart that we grant him a scholarship to help him achieve his goals. It also gives us joy to hear that simple moments at McDonald’s can sometimes turn into life-changing ones,” said Kenneth Yang, McDonald’s Philippines President and CEO.
RMHC also committed to hold its Ronald McDonald Read to Learn program in Subangdaku Elementary School. The program, in partnership with the Department of Education, teaches beginning reading to Grade 1 public school students.
By this August, RMHC will provide Read to Learn kits to the school and facilitate training among teachers. Over 400 Grade 1 pupils will benefit from the program, including Daniel’s younger brother, Gabriel.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities truly has a soft spot for children,” said Angeles. “We consider it our success to make life better for them through our long-running programs like Ronald McDonald Read to Learn (formerly called Bright Minds Read). School by school and student per student, we are happy to be able to make a difference in the community,” she added.
Daniel promised that he will study even harder. He continues to be an inspiration for many children to study well despite the difficulties.
“Our family can’t be more thankful for all the support given to us (Ang akung pamilya dako kaayung pasalamat sa tanang tabang nga gihatag sa amo). As a mother, my main priority is really for my children to finish their studies (Isip usa ka inahan ang akung prioridad nga makahuman ug skoyla akung mga anak). I’m happy and relieved that RMHC was quick to offer help (Nalipay ko ug nahuwasan nga ang RMHC nga dali kaayo naka offer sa ila tabang),” said Christina Cabrera, mother to Daniel and his four siblings.
RMHC has been serving the Filipino community since 1995. It will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. For more information on RMHC, its flagship programs, and how customers can help, visit https://mcdonalds.com.ph.