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A Mother's Narrative and a Ribbon Inspires RMHC Launch of Holiday Drive for Donations

Heartfelt Digital and Social Media Campaign Inspires People to Help Children's Charity Raise $1 Million to Support Family-Centered Care and Children With Serious Health Care Needs

OAK BROOK, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- To celebrate the season of giving, a mother's personal narrative and a ribbon become the focal point and inspiration for people to donate in support of children and families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). With an aggressive goal to raise $1 million by December 31, 2012, the Charity is using a multimedia approach to bring people closer to its cause, help them understand the impact its family-centered programs have on improving the health and wellbeing of children and compel them to donate.

A terrible car accident changed the Maley family's world forever. Erin Maley and her young daughter Summer's lives seemed to unravel in an instant. Accompanied by animated ribbon graphics, Erin Maley tells her story about the vital support her family received from the Ronald McDonald House® in Cincinnati, Ohio, after the terrible tragedy that took her husband's life, left her injured and paralyzed her young daughter. This unique storytelling kicks-off a two month campaign calling donors and supporters to "Give the Gift of Togetherness" to help the Charity keep families together when their lives fall apart. A ribbon on the Charity's website -- www.rmhc.org -- encourages visitors to learn more about its mission, meet some of the families supported by RMHC and understand the significant impact their contribution has on children's health and wellbeing. Alex Braxton, creative director at DDB Chicago who helped with the campaign's concept, said, "The thought behind the campaign is a simple one -- that when you least expect it, your world can very quickly unravel. And that's when RMHC so often comes to the aid of families across the country."

With this campaign, the Charity targets the philanthropic women and the millennial generations by appealing to them where they play, shop, search and socialize online, RMHC seeks to convert them into donors by year end. An innovative campaign component is the launch of the Charity's group give page where people can create a personal fundraising page, set a donation target and encourage family and friends to join them in giving the Gift of Togetherness during the holidays. "While traditional media is important to awareness building, the online and social aspects of this campaign allow RMHC to rally its regular donors and volunteers to speak on behalf of the brand and talk to new supporters in a manner that really drives home the Charity's mission and encourages them to donate," stated Braxton.

The nonprofit's digital footprint extends through Chapters in 57 countries and regions. And with core programs offered at 78 percent of the top children's hospitals in the world, RMHC has a profound effect on children with serious health care needs. Through programs like the Ronald McDonald House or Ronald McDonald Family Room, donors can play a key role in helping keep families together and surrounded by the joy, comfort, food and music characteristic of this time of year.

"With nearly 60 percent of our donations by individuals being given online or through mail in the last two months of the year, we offer a variety of ways for people to make a difference, based on their motivations and desires to give," said Jennifer Blanchard Smith, senior director, RMHC. "This season of giving, we are counting on the investment in our mission from both existing and prospective donors to help us reach the $1 million goal. By giving the Gift of Togetherness they will be part of the network of support that helps families pick up the pieces as they fight the illness of their child."

"Sometimes when a child gets sick they have to go to a hospital far from their families. We know parents want to be with their child every second during such a difficult time. In fact, many would trade places with them if they could. But since they can't, they can at least be by their side," said Linda Dunham, chair of the Global Board of Trustees of RMHC. "That's exactly why there's RMHC. We have places where families can be together, because we believe children heal faster when they're with loved ones."

To learn more about RMHC and be a part of this year's Season of Giving, visit www.rmhc.org/giftoftogetherness. You can also start a personal fundraising page at www.rmhc.org/groupgive, donate now or share your support of RMHC with your social media networks.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a 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 57 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-operated and supported programs provide a bridge 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 us on Twitter (@RMHC) or like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).

For more information on RMHC:
www.rmhc.org
The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates: Ronald McDonald House Charities, Ronald McDonald House Charities Logo, RMHC, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

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