Several years back McDonald’s ad campaigns included the slogan “We love to see you smile.”
It’s apropos today given that a Sampson native and the McDonald’s she owns were responsible for the wide grins on Autryville firefighters’ faces earlier this week when they were given over $3,000 toward rebuilding the department destroyed by a recent tornado.
The generous contribution started with Roseboro native Doris Huebner, owner and operator of the new McGee’s Crossroads McDonald’s just off I-40, who read about the devastation to the small town’s fire department after an EF1 tornado plowed through the town a month or so ago. Huebner wanted to help and she decided the best way to do it was to coincide a fundraising with the opening of her new fast food restaurant.
Last Friday, during a grand opening celebration, Huebner decided she would give 25 percent of total sales that day to the Autryville firefighters for use toward their building fund. With the generous help of those eating at the McDonald’s throughout the day, and a benevolent $500 donation from the Community Volunteer Fire Department, more than $3,400 was raised.
The contributions are impressive for many reasons.
Firstly Huebner, herself. Though a native of Sampson, the McDonald’s owner/operator no longer lives here, yet she was moved to do something special for a community she still loves. “Just seeing the devastation of the fire department made me want to do something,” Huebner was quoted as saying. Most impressive: she put action behind her words and offered a portion of her own proceeds to the cause.
Secondly is the Community Fire Department, which received a $500 from the McDonald’s as part of a community-based program and turned around and donated those funds to their brothers and sisters in Autryville. What a remarkable show of generosity, particularly given that volunteer fire departments and their firefighters need every dollar they are given to help sustain them, their equipment and their vehicles. To see one group give of their much-needed funding to someone they believe needs it more is heart-warming to say the least.
And thirdly is the outreach that so many area McDonald’s owners are willing to do for their communities. It is an impressive display of kindness. Huebner certainly showed it, but she’s not the only one.
Clinton native and McDonald’s owner/operator Hugh Caison is another of those benevolent individuals who is continuously helping his hometown and beyond through his business. Whether it’s sponsoring an athletic event or giving a portion of day-long proceeds to our Sampson Community College Foundation, Caison is quick to reach down deep and help others.
It was Caison, in fact, who partnered with The Sampson Independent this year to bring the county its first ever high school sports podcast, and it is Caison who joined us in our ongoing Hotcakes and Topics series which provides a free breakfast to someone willing to share opinions on relevant issues in today’s society.
But that just scratches the surface of Caison’s generosity, much as it does Huebner’s. In both cases, the owner/operators and the McDonald’s they lead are giving back to the communities which frequent their businesses, returning a portion of that which they have to others.
It’s what makes McDonald’s a community partner and the likes of Caison and Huebner such special people.
And to use yet another McDonald’s slogan, “we’re lovin’ it,” and we are very thankful for them.