By Ed Dickson


On a cold December day in 2001, I was in Ukraine and wondering, «What am I going to do for Christmas?» Then I got an idea that would eventually change «Christmas» for thousands of orphan children. Back then, McDonalds was opening flashy new restaurants all over the former Soviet Union, and in the city of Krivoy Rog, McDonalds was the «elite» place to eat! Poor families and orphan children, however, only dreamed of being able to eat there.

So I thought, «Why not take as many orphans as I can to McDonalds for a wild Christmas party?!» What a thrill that day was for me. The first Christmas there were 46 orphans, who, of course, had never been to McDonalds before. The kids were so excited they were shaking in their seats while they waited for their Happy Meals. Then, after the kids finished eating, I watched them put their cups, straws and wrappers into the happy meal bags, and even folded up the little paper placemats, to take back to the orphanage with them. They would remember this day, and everything we shared with them, all year long.

Every year since then, between 2,000 and 5,000 orphan children are taken to McDonalds at Christmas for a HUGE celebration of Jesus’ birthday! $10 per child blesses them with a wild Christmas party, the story of Jesus, a happy meal, toy, transportation to and from the orphanage AND desperately needed vitamins!!!

Feel the love and joy of this amazing outreach in these photos …