CICERO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Asking to round up your total to the nearest dollar may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to those who did the favor at local McDonald’s restaurants, they made a huge impact on a local non-profit.

“Would you like to round up for the Ronald McDonald House?” A simple question employees have been asking since October 2020, and according to Paul Ross, owner and operator of 15 McDonald’s Restaurants in Central New York, it wasn’t easy.

“It was difficult at first. It’s tough to get a 16 or 17-year-old food person to say would you care to round up for Ronald McDonald House,” said Ross.

But for McDonald’s employees at Ross’ restaurants, that wouldn’t be the case for long.

“We finally got them to do it. We incentivized our management teams. I put up money and said if you can raise X amount of dollars in a month, I’ll give you this amount of money,” said Ross.

It’s all part of the Round-up for Ronald McDonald House, a nationwide initiative taking off locally.

“Since that time we’ve raised 1.5 million dollars just in my 15 restaurants,” said Ross.

That big chunk of change will be given to those who need it the most at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York.

“It was truly a bit of a life raft for us and helped us to be able to continue to operate with minimal interruption,” said Beth Trunfio, executive director at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York.

Monthly collections help to support day-to-day operations.

“The roundup is impactful in the work that we do and our ability to continue to serve,” said Trunfio.

The initiative is far from over. Employees at Ross’ 15 restaurants are still asking customers if they’d like to round up, with hopes of continuing to make a difference by giving back.