RMHC Invites People to Give One Penny at a Time to Help Keep Families Together

More Than 36 Years Ago, Kim Hill, Who Battled Cancer, Inspired a Community to Build the First Ronald McDonald House

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - Jun 7, 2011) - For Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) it all started with one: one child who needed health care, one family who hoped to stay nearby and one community who came together to build the first Ronald McDonald House®. And, just one penny can make a difference today in the lives of children and families. The Charity is asking people to support their 1 campaign and "Join RMHC for 1" on July 1, 2011, by adding one penny, one dime, quarter or dollar to the RMHC Donation Boxes at local participating McDonald's restaurants.

Kim Hill, a little girl who battled leukemia, was that one child who inspired the RMHC system. Her mother, Fran Hill and her father, former NFL Philadelphia Eagle's player Fred Hill, slept on hospital chairs and ate from vending machines to stay by her side. The Hill family's struggle to remain close to their daughter while receiving treatment inspired one doctor, one football team, one community and one company, McDonald's, to create and build the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia in 1974. This House, a "home-away-from-home" for families of seriously ill children like Kim, has grown exponentially serving more than 7200 families each night in the more than 306 Houses across the globe. When Kim was a teenager, she appeared on the "TODAY show." She said, "At the time I didn't enjoy being sick, but I'm glad I did get sick, because through my suffering, a great thing has come from it."

Kim died this year in March at the age of 44, but her legacy of love, care and courage continues to inspire RMHC today. This summer, because of Kim and the meaning of the number one, the Charity plans to connect with supporters, stakeholders, individuals and corporate donors to create excitement and mobilize the multitudes to actively support RMHC families by giving in small ways. Last year alone, nearly $25 million was raised through the RMHC Donation Boxes in the U.S. These funds support programs which provide a bridge to quality health care and allow families to give 100 percent of their time to their children so they can heal faster and cope better. In fact, one full Donation Box could provide a safe place to stay in a Ronald McDonald House for up to one night or cover the cost of a dental screening for a child on the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

"Our '1' Campaign and the Join Us for 1 event day is designed to raise awareness for the RMHC Donation Box program and inspire greater giving throughout the year by sharing with people our history and the profound impact we have on families' lives," said Jennifer Blanchard Smith, senior director of Communications and Special Programs, RMHC. "While some may think that one penny or some spare change found in a couch can't really mean much, we know that for RMHC families, small change means resources and stability they desperately need at a critical time in their child's life. It adds up to a lot -- there's undoubtedly strength in numbers. We are very thankful for the millions of McDonald's customers who help to support families through our programs by donating their change all year long."

Beyond sharing spare change, there are other ways to get involved and support this important cause. RMHC invites people to RSVP for the Join Us for 1 event day on the Charity's Facebook event page, display the 1 campaign badge on websites and blogs, and encourage friends and followers to join by passing the word to others in their community. Information about getting involved with this campaign is available now at www.rmhc.org and other social media channels such as Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.

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 53 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-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, www.rmhc.org or follow us on Twitter (@RMHC) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHCGlobal).

Ronald McDonald House Charities, RMHC, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are all registered trademarks of McDonald's Corporation or its affiliates and are used with permission.

Contact Information:

For more information, contact:
Clara L. Carrier
(630) 623-6573 Office
(630) 209-7617 Cell Phone

Once child, Kim Hill, inspired RMHC.