Grace Ramsburg, an 8-year-old with Down syndrome, thought she was out to a regular lunch at McDonalds with her family in Illinois. Much to her surprise, that lunch was free and also filmed -- and became one of the best scenes in a McDonalds commercial featured during last night's Super Bowl!
ICYMI, the heartwarming ad is a part of McDonalds' "Give Lovin', Get Lovin'" campaign, which runs through February 14th. During this period, randomly selected customers (100 per store across the U.S.) can pay for their food by just showing some love.
As the unscripted Super Bowl commercial shows, this means people can "pay with lovin'" by calling their moms, dancing, and, in the case of Grace and her family, sharing a tremendous hug that makes me grin just thinking about it. Just watch the video below and catch Grace's joyous face around the 0:51 mark.
Although McDonalds chose customers at random for the commercial, they're thrilled to include Grace in their ad, reports Disability Scoop. The McDonalds ad gives extra momentum to the movement to feature more people with disabilities in mainstream media. The ad is also important on a more personal level for every parent who has a child with special needs, and who who has struggled with stares and glares when out in public.
"There's still misunderstanding and there's still judgment," says Grace's mom, Holly. "I feel like every day when we go out and we're able to get her face out there and get her personality out there, it is wonderful."
It is wonderful, indeed. And we're cheering for Grace and her family. We can't wait to see even more kids with special needs in ads this year!
Jamie Pacton lives near Lake Michigan where she drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons, Liam (6) and Eliot (4). Her writing has appeared in the Autism and Asperger's Digest (2011-2013), Parents, and the book collection Monday Coffee and Other Stories of Parenting Kids with Special Needs. Find her at www.jamiepacton.com, Facebook (Jamie Pacton), and Twitter (@jamiepacton).
Photo: Screenshot of Grace Ramburg and her family via the McDonalds commercial