The Nation & Ronald McDonald House Join Forces


In the summer, hockey talk can be slow around these parts.  Since we have more time on our hands, we wanted to find a way to get more involved with the city we live in.  Today marks another step in the Nation’s commitment to giving back to our community. Today we announce a partnership between the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta and OilersNation. 

On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to be invited to Ronald McDonald House to meet the First Lady of Edmonton and find out what Ronald McDonald House is all about.  Honestly, I had a basic idea of what the Ronald McDonald House does, but I really didn’t understand their importance to the surrounding communities.  Luckily, Jen Scrivens is a fantastic host and she left us with a better understanding of what they do and how OilersNation can help.



Jen and I had conversation about what Edmonton, how she got involved with Ronald McDonald House, and what you can do to help – check it out:

baggedmilk: You’ve been in Edmonton since roughly February, what are your thoughts on the community so far?

Jen Scrivens: I’m so impressed with how welcoming and receptive the community has been to me as a newcomer and to Ben who has returned to his hometown. Everyone has helped me feel right at home.

BM: A lot of us are born and raised in Edmonton, but don’t really know what the Ronald McDonald House does.  If you were to sum it up, what is the Ronald McDonald House?

JS: It’s an organization that takes care of families who relocate to care for a sick or injured child. Edmonton has several renowned hospitals, so people travel from all over Alberta and western Canada to receive treatment. Often, they’re given no indication how long they will be away from home. Hotel bills add up quickly, so we provide a temporary home away from home for not only the child, but their families too. Staying with us at the Ronald McDonald House takes that stress away so parents can focus on taking care of their child.

BM: How did you get involved?

JS: Ben and I volunteered at the House in Toronto a couple years ago. We were like a lot of people- we had heard about the Ronald McDonald Houses but didn’t really know what they did and what services they provided. I was very impressed; and when Ben was traded to Edmonton this season, I thought it would be a good time to make this transition in my career to the non-profit sector. Once he signed a new contract, I started looking and stumbled upon this position. I came in for an interview and was sold- I didn’t even apply to another job.

BM: Why was it important to you to get involved?

JS: I’ve always enjoyed giving back in every city we live in. With my experience in communications, I really wanted to merge those two passions and see what could happen. This role has been so much for me, in fact most days it hardly feels like work. Probably the best part is seeing the immediate impact of everything we do, and that has a lot do with the fact that our offices are right inside the House. Ben thinks I get to play games with the kids all day, and some days that’s not far from the truth.

BM: For those who can, what is the best way for our readers get involved?

JS: Come visit! There’s always someone here to give you a tour, which is the best way to find out how you can help fill a need. Then I suggest scheduling a day to cook dinner for the families. This is how I first got involved in Toronto, and it’s the best way to see the value of the Ronald McDonald Houses. Families can spend all day at the hospital with their child, and coming home to a home-cooked meal is a small luxury that means a lot to them.



One of the things that Jen mentioned to us was their need for help spreading the word. Even though Ronald McDonald House is a well known charity, I bet there are still a lot of you that are like me and aren’t really sure what goes on there – this is where we can help.  Luckily, the Nation is in a position where we attract a large amount of traffic, regardless of how the team is doing, and so we thought the right thing to do is to help them spread the word. 

After spending only a couple hours at the House, and meeting a few kids, it was very obvious how much this place means to the families.  Going forward from here, OilersNation will be helping the Ronald McDonald House promote their events and raise awareness for the cause.  I was endlessly impressed with the people, the kids, and the House itself.  If you can go for a visit, please do.  If you can help in any way, we encourage you to do so. 

We’re very happy to be partnering with Ronald McDonald House and Jen Scrivens to promote this great charity. We’re also thankful for the support the Nation has given us with all our charity related events. You guys always come through for us, and we hope you’ll continue to support our quest to give back to the community around us.

  • I’d go over there and cook meals for the kids but they’re already sick and Edmonton emergency rooms don’t need the traffic.

    But hey, if those kids want to meet me at Cactus Club downtown after work I’l buy ’em a beer any day.

    #CareerSingleGuy #NoKIds

  • The Last Big Bear

    I cant say enough good things about Ronald McDonald House. They are there for kids and families who’s lives have been turned upside down. They’ll give a warm meal to the parents who have had to leave their homes and work and famies for the worst possible reasons. Little things like doing laundry and providing a warm meal for parents who are scared, or having a cool new video game to distract a kid who may not have very much time left, these can make all the difference in the world. I can’t even finish this because im at work and I have big tears running down my face (my experience there did not have a happy ending) but i just wanted to say that they are an amazing charity that makes an absolutele world of difference and sometimes the work they do is just as important as what the doctors and the hospital do.

    • ubermiguel

      I’m sorry you had to go through whatever that was, but thank you for sharing what Ronald MacDonald House meant for you; I never understood what they did, but now I see how important these small comforts of home can be.

    • Thanks for sharing that. I honestly didn’t know how much they did for families until I got the tour and talked to Jen about what happens there. It was a really amazing place and I’m very happy that we can help out in any way.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Ben and Jen – 2 young people who truly care for Edmonton and the Oilers. Spruce Grove is Ben’s home, and Jen has embraced this community, even tho she is a California girl. The admiration and respect I have for these two knows no bounds. As a parent who has had the joy of the sanctuary of the Ronald MacDonald House, and has been a beneficiary of the Oilers’ Hockey Foundation’s generosity, I cannot thank the Scrivens’ enough. I thank ALL the Oilers and their ladies for ALL the work they do, but Ben and Jen are new here, they didn’t have to take on so much charity work so soon, but they did, and are we will be ever grateful to them. To them, and every single one of the players – past and present – who strive to make Edmonton a better place, and to give their time, money and support, I thank you. I especially want to thank Ryan Smyth and his wonderful wife Stacey for all they continue to do as well. Having Smytty and The Professor, along with their wives watching over the community means so much. Thanks also to Ryan Jones and his wife, Shawn Horcoff and his wife, and so many others who give so much. THANK YOU. It really is appreciated.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Sorry – I forgot to give a special mention to Andrew Ferrance – this guy’s energy and enthusiasm makes the fittest of us say “Whoa man” we can’t keep up with you! Talk about making us Edmontonians bond with each other – anyone who can persuade dozens of people to congregate at 6:30am daily to go through torture has to be some kind of miracle worker. We sure are lucky to have such wonderful people involved in the Oilers’ organization.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Since the point of the article was to spread awareness (and because I’m not at work any more), I’ll just share a little bit more of my experiences with Ronald McDonald House.

    A close friend of mine had two sons, the older of which was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was about 8. I stayed at Ronald mcDonald house helping their mom, taking care of the younger son when she neede to be in the hospital, and looking after the older son when mom needed time off. Everyone did their best, but after a few months and a series of very difficult surgeries, the wee man’s short but hard life came to a close.

    Most of the stories at Ronald McDonald House have happy endings. Kids get better, they go home fine, and everybody is happy. But while it’s happening, the last thing you need is to worry about spending every last penny you have on a hotel room, thinking of how the heck you’re going to wash your clothes, where you’re going to find food at 1am, and what are you going to do with your kid in a strange city on a cloudy morning while youre waiting for a scary medical procedure.

    Ronald McDonald House takes care of all of this. You have a bed. There’s laundry. There’s food. There’s leftovers. Theres books and toys and video games and stuff. So just go be with your kid. Having a home away from home like this is something you just can’t put a dollar figure on. I don’t know if I can really convey how much of an impact these little things can have, but when the chips are down sometimes the only thing that can help is a clean bed and a warm bowl of soup.

    I’m an MD now, I and work for a world famous non-profit cancer institute. But honest to god, dollar-for-dollar I think Ronald McDonald House does more good than we do.

    Anyways, I’ve probably preached enough, but thanks Ronald McDonald Children’s charities for all the work you do, thanks to the volunteers and employees including Jen Scrivens, and thanks Nations Network for helping to spread the word.

    That was long. I promise my next post will be a very statistics-heavy criticism of the Oilers’ two-way game.

    • Great post man but if I were you I’d reconsider your next topic. You seem like a decent guy, the sort we like around here. But if you try to write what you’re thinking about we won’t hear from you again.

      “Oilers two-way game” *giggles hard*