World Children's Day at McDonald's slated for Nov. 20

Nov. 11, 2003
This is an annual global fundraiser benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and local children's causes.

Thousands of participating McDonald's restaurants in more than 100 countries worldwide are gearing up for World Children's Day 2003, an annual global fundraiser benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and local children's causes.

A prestigious roster of world-renowned entertainers and athletes plan to lend their support to this year's effort. To date, the list includes superstar Justin Timberlake in Milan, Italy; tennis megastars Venus and Serena Williams in New York City; Grammy award-winner producer/composer David Foster and his wife, lyricist Linda Thompson in Los Angeles, pop artist Leon Lai in Hong Kong and hundreds of Olympic champions from around the world.

"McDonald's is proud to invite the world into our restaurants to help children everywhere," said Jim Cantalupo, McDonald's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Through this annual event, we continue our tradition of giving back and helping those in need. With our 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, McDonald's is uniquely positioned to reach millions of children who need our help."

The first-ever World Children's Day fundraiser held last year raised more than $12 million in 24 hours. Those funds were used in a variety of ways to help children including:

** Support for the 134 Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapters in the U.S.
** Aid for more than 20 orphanages throughout eastern Europe
** Assistance for some 70 children's hospitals worldwide
** Distribution of 1,300 hearing aids to children in Mexico
** Distribution of 150,000 dictionaries to children in rural China
** Contributions to approximately 200 children's health organizations
** Support for 16 new Ronald McDonald Houses around the world

"The beauty of World Children's Day is the simplicity by which people everywhere can help children," said Ken Barun, President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities. "Every visit to a participating McDonald's restaurant to purchase select items on this day helps us continue our mission of directly improving the health and well being of children worldwide."

Fundraising tactics in the restaurants will vary by country. In the U.S., a donation will be made directly to RMHC for every Premium Salad or French Fry purchased at participating McDonald's restaurants from November 20-23. Many restaurants in the U.S. will also conduct a "Give A Hand" promotion, offering customers the opportunity to personalize paper cut-out hands and post them in the restaurants with all proceeds benefiting the Charity.

Other country plans include a walk-a-thon in Hong Kong, telethons in Mexico and Chile, activities benefiting orphans in Eastern Europe, celebrity visits to children's hospitals in Croatia, a special concert in China, and countless celebrities and athletes working behind the counter to raise funds at McDonald's restaurants worldwide.

McDonald's is the world's leading food service retailer with more than 30,000 local McDonald's restaurants serving 47 million customers each day in more than 100 countries. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501(c)3, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children through its network of 179 local Chapters currently serving in 46 countries. The Charity makes grants to not-for-profit organizations and provides support to Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles worldwide. To date, Ronald McDonald House Charities' national body and global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $380 million in grants to children's programs.

For more information on World Children's Day, please visit or