What Happens to Donation Box Money? McDonald's Moving Stunt Will Show You

Campaign for Ronald McDonald House Gives Customers Emotional Surprise

By Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Oct 14, 2016

Editor's Pick

Ever wonder what happens to those coins you drop into cardboard donation boxes? McDonald's and Cossette Chicago's recent stunt set out to show how meaningful and important that small gesture can be -- at least when it comes to charity Ronald McDonald House.

To commemorate the Day of Change, the anniversary of the opening of the first Ronald McDonald House in 1974, the fast feeder recently surprised some McDonald's customers, on the spot, to show them where their donations go. A two-minute film, "Gratitude," captures a consumer dropping some change into a box. But instead of seeing business as usual, the lights in the restaurant go off and the menu boards transform into a giant screen, turning the store itself into a theater, of sorts.

It's then that we see the story of Laurie Cepkauskas and her daughter Emily, who was able to receive much-needed open-heart surgery thanks to RMHC donations. We then see many more words of gratitude from other families who benefited from the organization.

Cossette captured the stunt with five hidden cameras in a McDonald's restaurant.

"The stories of these families are so powerful, we knew that if we could simply allow them to be heard, the message would touch the hearts of McDonald's customers," said Chuck Rachford, executive creative director at Cossette Chicago in a statement. "We knew the best way to capture this would be live -- to immediately connect a single donation to the family who has benefited from it."

"Some people feel spare change is not a meaningful donation, but it really adds up," added RMHC Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Jennifer Smith. " We're able to help millions of families worldwide thanks to those donations."

Last year, RMHC received donations totalling more than $52 million through the boxes -- enough to help 7 million children and families.

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Oct 14, 2016
Cossette Chicago
Ronald McDonald House Charity
Executive Creative Director:
Chuck Rachford
Sweta Kannan
Cary Potterfield
Casey Stern
Art Director:
Stacy Randolph
Managing Director:
Alyssa Huggins
Account Lead:
Alyssa Huggins
Account Supervisor:
Liisa Nido
Account Supervisor:
Ashley Goodson
Ky Dickens
Production Company:
Story Films
Executive Producer:
Amy McIntyre
Sydney Thomson
Editorial Company:
Kathryn Hempel
Post Producer:
Patrick Casey
Assistant Editor:
Emily Tolan
Finishing Company:
Flavor Chicago
Audio Producer:
Peter Erazmus
RMHC Global
Chief Marketing Officer:
Jennifer Smith
Chief Communications Officer:
Jennifer Smith
Marketing Manager:
Jill Topf

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