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Area McDonald’s restaurants launch fundraiser

Orange County locations will sell paper hearts to raise money for the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.

By Susan BelknappPublished: February 03, 2009 10:22 AM

For the month of February, McDonald’s restaurants throughout Orange County will be participating in the “Hearts for the House” fundraiser by selling paper hearts for $1.

The proceeds from each purchase will benefit the Orange County Ronald McDonald House (OCRMH) and the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms (RMFR). All 96 Orange County McDonald’s will be participating in the program.

Ronald McDonald Houses serve as homes-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearly medical facilities.

RMFRs provide the comfort and care of a Ronald McDonald House in a hospital setting for parents with children in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and CHOC at Mission in Mission Viejo.

The Orange County Ronald McDonald House is located near CHOC and provides lodging that is often free and support for families in crisis, giving them a comfortable alternative to sleeping on cots at the hospital or the expense of staying in a hotel.

In addition, families find reassurance and camaraderie by being surrounded with other families in similar circumstances. The OCRMH can accommodate up to 21 families each night and has welcomed more than 10,000 families from 21 countries since it opened.

“We are really excited about this year’s Hearts for the House program and we are so grateful to our Orange County McDonald’s owner/operators for their continued support of the House,” says Deborah Levy, executive director, OCRMH. “With the state of the economy, more so than ever, families with seriously ill children need our help and with programs such as Hearts for the House we hope to fulfill that goal.”

Local McDonald’s owner/operator Patti Widdicombe agrees, “The Orange County Ronald McDonald House is so dear to the hearts of McDonald’s owner/operators throughout Orange County … It’s truly amazing what the House provides for these families who need their help and we are honored to support their cause through the Hearts for the House program.”

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