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January 6, 2003

World Children's Day Raises Estimated $15 - $20 Million

From: PNN, VA - 06 Jan 2003

When participating McDonald's restaurants in more than 100 countries opened their doors on November 20, 2002, Big Macs made a big difference for millions of children in need around the world. McDonald's raised an estimated $15 - 20 million in 24 hours during its first-ever World Children's Day fundraising effort benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities and children's causes worldwide.

"To have raised this much money in such a short period of time is remarkable, especially in today's challenging business and philanthropic environment," said Ken Barun, President and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. "This money will be used to help critical children's needs as determined by our worldwide Charity and local RMHC Chapters in our communities around the world."

According to Barun, funds raised on World Children's Day at McDonald's will provide: aid for orphanages throughout eastern Europe; assistance for close to 70 children's hospitals worldwide; distribution of nearly 150,000 dictionaries to children in rural China; support for 16 new Ronald McDonald Houses around the world; 1,300 hearing aids for children in Mexico; and assistance for approximately 200 children's health organizations worldwide.

In the United States, contributions will support the 134 Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapters across the country and their work in the areas of scholarship programs, Ronald McDonald Houses, Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles and grants to local organizations throughout the country.

World Children's Day was supported by numerous fundraising activities and community events in McDonald's countries around the world. These ranged from traditional donations on specific product and restaurant sales in the U.S., Canada, France and China; to mega children's concerts and festivals in Mexico and Malaysia; to the distribution of critical services and supplies to needy children and families all over the world.

A number of prominent celebrities supported the World Children's Day Effort. "With the help of many generous people around the world, World Children's Day was the most expansive single-day fundraising event in McDonald's history, probably any company's history," said Barun. "It will enable our Charity to continue efforts to help improve the health and well being of children who desperately need this assistance right now."

The next McDonald's World Children's Day will take place on Thursday, November 20, 2003.

© 2002 by PNNOnline.