McDonald’s staff get into gear to help good cause
Dress-up days a huge hit as store raises cash for charity
SWAPPING their uniforms for a safety vest, Mt Druitt McDonald’s employees are setting the benchmark across the country.
The store has kicked off 2016 with a monthly dressup day to raise funds for sick children and their families at Ronald McDonald House.
Franchisee Angelo Salamarkis is the mastermind behind the idea. Having worked at McDonald’s for more than 40 years, he now owns stores in Zoe Place, Mt Druitt, Mt Druitt Westfield and Plumpton.
Mr Salamarkis started at McDonald’s at age 13 after being fired from a previous job. “The thing I love about working at McDonald’s is that we get the opportunity to work with the community – it is not just having money boxes in the stores,” he said.
After a visit to Ronald McDonald House, Mr Salamarkis was inspired to do more for the charity.
“Every time I go to Ronald McDonald House, that is my inspiration – the kids see me with no hair and they laugh and smile and say, ‘He is one of us’,” he said. “It is seeing what these kids go through and the long distances they have to travel to get to Ro- nald McDonald House. We sat down with the staff and brainstormed on what we could do; they came up with the (dress-up) idea and I said, ‘That’s fantastic’.”
The initiative is set to raise between $25,000 to $30,000 this year but it’s not just Ronald McDonald House that benefits.
“It is great for the crew morale too. The crew are actually excited to come to work,” Mr Salamarkis said.
Melissa Jones works at the Mt Druitt store and loves the dress-up days. “We really look forward to these days. It puts a bit of fun into work,” she said.
“Last month we had footy day or jersey day ... the team here is great and everyone gets into it.”
Gemma Ciappara has been at the Mt Druitt store for six years. She said the community’s response had been great.
“The dress-up encourages the customers to join in and donate too,” she said. “It’s great to have these days.”
Mr Salamarkis hoped the initiative would encourage more stores to get involved.
“There are no other stores that I know of that do this,” he said. “I hope other stores in our area and across the country will get involved.”
Ronald McDonald House has helped more than 68,000 Australian families in 30 years. Donate: rmhc.org. au/donate.
Every time I go to Ronald McDonald House, that is my inspiration
McDonald’s Mt Druitt staff dress up as
tradies (from left) Mel Jones, Paul Salamarkis, Angelo Salamarkis, Jemma Ciappara and Kim Jones and (inset) the initiative is well supported by all staff.
Pictures: Peter Kelly