SOURCE: Ronald McDonald House Charities Global

Ronald McDonald House Charities Global

April 12, 2011 11:24 ET

Digital and Social Media Networks Take RMHC Volunteerism to a New Level

The Charity Honors Volunteers Who Strengthen RMHC Families and Inspires People to Get Involved

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - Apr 12, 2011) - After spending 16 hours at the hospital with their child, there is nothing more comforting for a Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) family than to come back to a home-cooked meal prepared by loving volunteers. Kicking off National Volunteer Week, April 10 - 16, 2011, and to honor these volunteers who strengthen RMHC families every day, as well as to inspire more, the Charity is launching a virtual tour of a Ronald McDonald House® on its website, www.rmhc.org. Visitors will be able to see the compassionate care that makes the Houses into homes; be inspired by ways they can use their time and talent to give families more time to spend with their sick children; sign up to volunteer and share their activities with their social media networks.

In an effort to engage a multigenerational audience and knowing that Millennials (ages 13-29) and Boomers (ages 40-60) share the same strong desire to help those in need, the Charity will use digital and social media tactics to spread the word about volunteering and getting involved with RMHC. For example, RMHC volunteers will be encouraged to become brand ambassadors by tagging themselves with the Charity's Facebook gallery of volunteer opportunity icons. "As a true change agent charity, RMHC masterfully applies creative in a digital environment that not only influences people's attitudes but also their behaviors. They have always been at the forefront of understanding how the power of tapping into communities, including digital communities, nets positive outcomes for the children and families who need passionate volunteers to help make it through some of their most trying times," said Jaime Guerrero, digital business director at Tribal DDB Worldwide.

"We are extremely proud to work with RMHC as their digital partner, especially on a campaign like this where they are utilizing social media interactive elements to engage and inspire volunteerism while giving their current volunteers the ability to share their passion for RMHC."

To reach younger generations, who tend to be naturally altruist and are in search of opportunities to make a difference in their communities, RMHC developed educational "club kits." Downloadable at www.rmhc.org, these kits are designed to help kick start youth clubs dedicated to making RMHC the "Charity of Choice" for the Millennial generation -- the largest generation in America -- while receiving school credit or resume-building leadership activities for the future.

People give back and volunteer their time for a wide variety of reasons such as building self-esteem, learning social responsibility, creating a life-long ethic of service, and providing positive role models and values to children, among others. "Giving back is what makes my heart pound; being part of the Ronald McDonald House program has left footprints in my heart that will never go away," said Emily L. Mackebe, a past national service director for Alpha Delta Pi sorority, who has committed more than 30 years to helping families and children served by the House program in Knoxville, TN.

Other volunteers like Mary Pendleton, a 92-year old grandmother who has been baking cakes for the past 20 years once a week for the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas, also have expressed how this opportunity to give back has changed her life. She began baking for the House after her granddaughter, a cancer survivor, and her family stayed at the House for several months.

RMHC wouldn't be able to serve 4.5 million families every year around the world without its network of 30,000 talented and compassionate staff and volunteers. "From preparing meals, hosting movie and pizza nights, to cleaning and organizing kitchens and play areas, and maintaining gardens and landscaping, our army of volunteers help RMHC save approximately $40 million in operational costs a year, allowing the Charity to allocate funds to what matters most: providing stability and vital resources to families so they can keep their child healthy and happy," said Jennifer Blanchard Smith, senior director of Communications and Special Programs, RMHC.

Call a local RMHC Chapter today and ask how you can put your talents to use. Or sign up for a volunteer opportunity online at rmhc.org/volunteer. Hours are flexible and you can volunteer as many hours as your schedule will allow. You'll change the lives of many RMHC families, while changing yours along the way.

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 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, visit www.rmhc.org, follow us on Twitter (@RMHC), or like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).

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
    RMHC
    (630) 623-6573 Office
    (630) 209-7617 Cell Phone or
    Email Contact
    www.rmhc.org