TAMPA, FL November 19, 2008– This November, participating McDonald’s® restaurants across the United States will celebrate World Children’s Day® at McDonald’s, an annual program since 2002 that raises funds and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) and other children’s causes. In addition to traditional fundraising efforts taking place at participating local McDonald’s restaurants, for the first time consumers can get involved online with a new social networking viral campaign.
To honor World’s Children’s Day in Tampa Bay, select McDonald’s locations will have professional athletes from The Tampa Bay Lightning, and Storm working at the drive-thru window, and signing autographs throughout the day. Defenseman, Steve Eminger, Left Winger, Matt Pettinger, and Thunderbug, the team mascot for The Tampa Bay Lightning will be appearing at McDonald’s (located at 1520 W. Kennedy Blvd).
Also appearing at McDonald’s in St. Petersburg (located at 4818 S. Manhattan Ave), Tampa Bay Storm Offensive Linemen Emmanuel Akah, and Tim McGill. Ronald McDonald House helps over 3.7 million children and families around the globe. “World Children’s Day is a chance for everyone to give back and help families in serious situations”, said Stu Brown, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator. Last year, McDonald’s of Tampa Bay raised over $84,000 for RMHC.
“Give A Hand®” for RMHC at Participating McDonald’s Restaurants
On November 20, customers can support the Charity through the annual “Give A Hand®” in-restaurant fundraising program. The paper hands will be sold for $1 each, with all proceeds going to RMHC. In addition, when customers visit participating McDonald’s restaurants on November 20, $1 from the sale of select menu items will be donated to RMHC. McDonald’s Helps Customers Share Hands Online
New to this year’s campaign is an online extension of the in-restaurant Give A Hand program. Launched November 3, consumers around the world can download the “Give A Hand for Ronald McDonald House Charities” online widget application to their MySpace or other social networking page. In addition, supporters can send a Give A Hand to their friends online and pledge their support of RMHC and World Children’s Day. For the first 20,000 Give A Hands shared in November, McDonald's will donate $1 per hand to RMHC.
“Next year we celebrate 35 years of partnership with McDonald’s. We wouldn’t be able to serve children and families in need without the support of our long-standing corporate partners and vast network of volunteers,” said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. “Since World Children’s Day at McDonald’s began in 2002, the company, its franchisees and customers have raised more than $124 million worldwide. These funds have enabled us to bring our programs to communities in need in the United States and other countries like Russia, China, Europe and South America.”
McDonald's USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald's 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. Since RMHC’s inception in 1974, McDonald’s has supported the charity and its mission to improve the health and well being of children around the world. World Children’s Day is McDonald’s largest annual fundraiser, and an important day to call attention to the needs of children. Since it began in 2002, fundraising events for World Children’s Day have raised more than $124 million to benefit RMHC and other children’s causes around the world. About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most – right in their own communities. RMHC® makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®. These programs provide a bridge to accessible health care and allow families more time together, which help in the healing process. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters also have awarded more than $460 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org