OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 7, 2014) - McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) -- Even before Caleb Kinnaird was born, it was likely that he would need a heart transplant. But at 20 months old, the transplant became a reality, and the Kinnairds were faced with getting their youngest son the care he needed at a hospital an hour away from home. The opportunity to stay at a local Ronald McDonald House gave the Kinnairds the gift of time together when they needed it most. Staying at a Ronald McDonald House meant they could be there for all the painful, scary and upsetting moments for Caleb -- and celebrate all the small strides as well. Nearly one year later, Caleb is happy and healthy, and the Kinnaird family will never forget the loving home away from home the Ronald McDonald house provided.
This October, McDonald's and Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) are celebrating 40 years of dedication to children's happiness and well-being with a renewed call for donations to directly benefit families, like the Kinnairds, who need it most. A social media campaign beginning Oct. 8 will also encourage consumers to show their support by using #forRMHC to share RMHC-related stories and photos and increase awareness around the mission of the Charity. As red and white stripes are the visual cue for RMHC, consumers are asked to share a photo wearing stripes using #forRMHC.
As the largest corporate donor to RMHC, McDonald's restaurants will be hosting a variety of different initiatives all around the world to further support and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the first Ronald McDonald House, all starting on or around Oct. 15th. For example, the United States will host the 'RMHC Day of Change' where customers are encouraged to collect and donate their change in RMHC Donation Boxes located on the front counters and drive thrus of participating McDonald's restaurants.
"Some people may think a handful of spare change is insignificant, but every penny counts when we're making an impact on the lives of children and families going through challenging times," said J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez, president and CEO, RMHC. "In fact, last year alone McDonald's customers generously gave more than $50 million through the RMHC Donation Box programs worldwide, which could have helped to provide a 'home away from home' to more than 8,000 families each night. And this year, if each McDonald's customer dropped a penny into an RMHC Donation Box each time they visited, the Charity could raise more than $250 million to support RMHC children and families globally."
McDonald's partnership with RMHC began in 1974 with one child, Kim Hill, who battled leukemia. The Hill family's struggle to remain close to their daughter while receiving treatment inspired one doctor, one professional football team, one community and McDonald's, to create and build the first Ronald McDonald House, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with the support of the McDonald's system and other corporate and individual donors, offers programs and provides services to approximately 9 million children and their families in nearly 62 countries and regions around the world each year. Each day, 20,000 families benefit from RMHC family-centered programs, such as the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room, which collectively saves them more than $649 million in meal and lodging costs annually.
Each donation to the Charity helps fund the creation and support of programs that provide stability and vital resources to families when they need it most. All RMHC-operated and supported programs provide access to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal and cope better.
McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer with more than 35,000 locations serving approximately 70 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit: www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), an independent non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 62 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and vital resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-operated and supported programs provide access to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org, follow RMHC on Twitter (@RMHC), or like RMHC on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).
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