OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - July 28, 2010) -  Today McDonald's® announced a new in-restaurant fundraising program and online campaign benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) and local children. Beginning this summer participating McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. will donate proceeds from all daily Happy Meal® and Mighty Kids Meal® sales to RMHC -- McDonald's "Charity of Choice" -- benefiting more than 11,000 sick and critically ill children and their families every day.

This new fundraising effort comes to life through a sharable online campaign, "Family Time. Happy Time," where families are encouraged to pledge minutes of "happy time" together and share their own creative activities with other families via McDonald's Facebook page or their personal blogs. To demonstrate how time spent together benefits other families, and that a small gesture can add up to make a big difference, McDonald's will donate one penny to RMHC for each minute pledged, with a goal of reaching 1 million minutes and $10,000 to use toward family time activities for RMHC guests.

"Since the first Ronald McDonald House® opened its doors in 1974, McDonald's has demonstrated our dedication to bringing families together and giving back to the community," said Molly Starmann, Director, U.S. Marketing, McDonald's USA. "Happy Meals have always played an important role in making family meal time fun and special. Our new fundraising effort gives parents another way to teach their children about the importance of helping others."

In addition to purchasing a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal, where one penny from each purchase will benefit RMHC, or pledging family time through the online program, customers can also drop spare change in a RMHC Donation Box at participating McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. or support McDonald's annual "Give A Hand®" fundraiser -- small gestures that add up to make a big difference for families in need. Last year, RMHC Donation Boxes at McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. raised nearly $20 million for local RMHC Chapters.

"Research(1) shows a family presence in the hospital helps sick and critically ill children cope and heal faster," said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. "RMHC supports the entire family by giving them time together, as well as access to healthcare services to ease minds, heal bodies and strengthen spirits. For 36 years, through the support of companies like McDonald's and its customers, we've been able to serve thousands of families every day through our core programs," added Coyne. "McDonald's latest fundraising efforts will bring families together while making a difference in their communities by helping families in need."

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 more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and products.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 © (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 52 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.

(1) 2007 study conducted by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California with grant support from UniHealth Foundation.

Contact Information:

For more information contact:
Molly McKenna
630-623-6593
molly.mckenna@us.mcd.com

Heather Johnson
312-729-4326
hjohnson@golinharris.com