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World Children's Day 2004

3 November 2004

Thousands Of New Zealand Children To Benefit From World Children's Day 2004

Ronald McDonald House Charities will be able to help many more New Zealand children and their families following the third annual World Children's Day - joining a global fundraising initiative taking place on Saturday, 20 November 2004.

World Children's Day, organised and held in more than 30,000 McDonald's restaurants in over 120 countries, was inspired after a call from the United Nation's Secretary General, Kofi Annan, asking businesses to become more involved in the protection of child rights and child survival.

Last year, global support for World Children's Day raised more than $15 million US for Ronald McDonald House Charities, the official charity of McDonald's Restaurants, and children's causes worldwide. In New Zealand, the event raises funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and last year helped look after many families nationwide who used a Ronald McDonald House.

While the official World Children's Day takes place on 20 November, McDonald's New Zealand is holding seven days of fundraising activities from 15 to 21 November, providing people throughout the country with an opportunity to be involved.

During the week, visitors to any McDonald's restaurant can make a gold coin donation in return for a child's smiley face, upon which they can sign their name.

These faces can be displayed in their local restaurant, creating a great visual representation of the country's generosity. People do not need to make a restaurant purchase in order to participate - just bring their gold coin to donate.

"The power of World Children's Day is that we can help children and their families all over the country," says McDonald's Restaurants (NZ) Ltd Country Manager, Gráinne Troute. "Funds raised during the week will go towards projects that Ronald McDonald House Charities supports."

Established in New Zealand in 1989, Ronald McDonald House Charities is a child focused charity that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealand children by initiating and supporting programmes that positively impact on the lives of children and their families. The foundation programme of the charity is the three Ronald McDonald Houses in New Zealand.

The global celebration of World Children's Day on 20 November coincides with the anniversary of the United Nation's adoption of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Last year New Zealand took centre place on the world stage on 20 November as the first country to welcome in World Children's Day.

ENDS

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