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Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) and McDonald's(R) Seek Inspiring Stories Through New 'Share.Give.Hope.' Campaign

OAK BROOK, Ill., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-five years ago, the first Ronald McDonald House(R) opened its doors in Philadelphia to provide a "home away from home" for families with seriously ill children. Today, McDonald's(R) and Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) kick-off an anniversary celebration to commemorate this important milestone and their long-standing commitment to helping children and families in need worldwide.

"For 35 years, local McDonald's franchisees have come together to support families in need," said William Whitman, Jr., vice president, U.S. Communications, McDonald's USA. "McDonald's and our franchisees are proud of our long-standing relationship with RMHC and look forward to continuing our legacy of giving back to the communities that we serve."

Share Your Story Online

Beginning today, RMHC and McDonald's are inviting people to share their stories of how RMHC has touched their lives, the life of someone they know, or their personal stories of inspiration through a dedicated campaign page at Visitors can share and read personal accounts of hope and inspiration; post comments to stories listed on the site; and become part of a network of individuals who've been through similar experiences.

The anniversary celebration will culminate in November during McHappy Day(R), McDonald's largest annual fundraiser for the Charity. RMHC and McDonald's will feature one of the stories submitted online in a national print advertising campaign for RMHC, inspiring others to help support children and families around the world.

"It's amazing to think that what started as one house in Philadelphia has grown into a worldwide organization of nearly 300 Houses that families count on when their children are seriously ill," said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. "Today, through our 'Share.Give.Hope.' campaign, we hope to bring people together online to share their stories and allow people to understand what RMHC means to the families and children that walk through our doors. Together, we're celebrating the past and looking forward to the next 35 years of supporting children in need."

People can also show their support for RMHC by sending a 35th Anniversary e-card to friends and family, inviting them to share their own inspirational words online. In addition, visitors can download an RMHC 'badge' to place on their personal blog or social networking site, further demonstrating their support for the Charity.

Celebrity Friends of RMHC Lend their Support

Celebrity Friends of RMHC - Holly Robinson Peete, June Ambrose and Al Roker - will be joining RMHC and McDonald's in celebrating the 35th Anniversary by engaging their followers on Twitter. The Celebrity Friends, who lend their 'star power' to raise awareness for RMHC, will be "tweeting" about the 35th Anniversary and their personal support of the Charity, while encouraging their followers to share their own inspirational stories with others.

The History of the Ronald McDonald House Program

The first Ronald McDonald House was able to open its doors in Philadelphia in 1974, largely due to the fundraising efforts of local McDonald's franchisees and McDonald's Corporation, who donated proceeds from the sales of Shamrock Shakes. Since then, RMHC has grown to be an international non-profit organization. McDonald's has been there every step of the way by continuing to raise money and awareness for RMHC and other children's causes in every country in which it operates.

For more information and to learn how you can support RMHC in your local community, visit

About McDonald's

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 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. Since 1974, McDonald's has supported the charity and its mission to improve the health and well being of children around the world. McHappy Day(R) is McDonald's largest annual fundraiser, and an important day to call attention to the needs of children. Since 2002, McHappy Day has raised more than $150 million to benefit RMHC and other children's causes around the world. For more information, visit

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(R) 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(R), Ronald McDonald Family Room(R) and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile(R). These programs provide a bridge to accessible health care and allow families more time together, which helps 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

(C)2009 McDonald's

Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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