"It was 4:30 in the morning. I'm watching Nightline and heard the words "happy thoughts" and immediately thought "Happy Meals".
I grew up in the projects in Flint. I knew what it was like to be poor. I knew that the schools and other organizations were going to come through for these kids who need food, so I wanted to give the kids a treat. With this, it's not about the meal, it's about the treat. It's about the happiness they feel when they get one.
The idea started out with my two companies donating $1000 apiece to buy kids Happy Meals. I put the idea out to the community and it's blown up more than I could imagine. People started giving $20, $50, $200. Local leaders like Jim Fetterling from Dow, Herb Spence, Dick Garber, Three Rivers Corporation, Great Lakes Construction....so many people wanted to help. It was amazing. We've raised just over $8900 and are delivering thousands of Happy Meals.
Kids are watching us now and we're teaching them how to respond. It's a teachable moment. This is an opportunity to teach them that during other crises in their lifetimes, respond by doing something. No matter how small it is, just do something.
Some people might think that the Happy Meals aren't enough, but when you watch the face of a kid getting a Happy Meal, especially from an impoverished neighborhood...trust me, it's more than enough."
- Jimmy E. Greene, CEO & President at ABC Greater Michigan