MINNEAPOLIS - Close to 200 Minnesota McDonald's restaurants are helping celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest, with the help of a green drink that makes its way to McDonalds counters every March.

For every Shamrock Shake that is purchased between March 5th through St. Patrick's Day, which falls on March 17th, 35 cents of each purchase will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Upper Midwest.

"It's a wonderful organization that's been helping families in Minnesota for over three decades. When families need a place to stay to be close to their sick children and they're torn between the hospital room and their own home, that's where the Ronald McDonald House comes in, and we're happy to help," said Jeff Smith, owner of several local McDonalds in Minnesota and one of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest.

In 1979, the first Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities opened in Minneapolis, following the renovation of a former University of Minnesota fraternity house.

Since then, RMHC-UM has expanded into four locations and grown from serving 400 families a year to nearly 5,000 families.

"We've come a long way and it just goes to show you how much we can accomplish in 35 years, and how far we're going to go with the help of something as simple as a Shamrock Shake," said Smith.