Monday, January 13, 2014

Ronald McDonald House

One of our Christmas Traditions is to serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City. We do this in honor of my husband's sister Sabrina. She spent many months at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland during her childhood. Her birthday is December 23rd so we do this every year in her name. The first time we went, the amazing staff took us on a tour of the facility and I watched tears stream down my husband's face. Even though this wasn't the building that Sabrina called home for so much of her life, he could picture her in every room.

This year we didn't manage to get onto the calendar until January 3rd. We bundled up our grocery supplies and headed to Salt Lake about 4:30 in the afternoon. You can fix anything you want for the residents but the food must be cooked in their kitchens and it needs to be ready by 6 p.m. All of us rushed around the kitchen, cooking together. Then the residents began to arrive. We met so many sweet young couples with babies in the NICU at Primary Children's Hospital. One beautiful family from Ireland was there with their young son who had heart problems. I spoke with one Aunt who was there with her teenager niece. She had gone into a diabetic coma on New Year's Eve and they didn't know if she was going to live through the night. Each of these children and their families have been in our prayers since that day.

If you haven't ever done this before with your family it is an amazing experience. Just check to see if you have a Ronald McDonald house in your city. All I did was go to the Utah Ronald McDonald House website and click on the volunteer button. When that tab opens I have the option of choosing to Adopt-A-Meal. Then I can scan the calendar and see available dates and submit my request for one of the dates available. You can cook breakfast, provide sack lunches or serve dinner.

Within two days I heard back from the meal coordinator and we were good to go. At our Ronald McDonald House we were expected to be prepared to serve up to 50 people. Any age child can come help with the meal but they recommend not more than about 8 people in the kitchen. They provided all the paper products for our meal and the kitchen was well-stocked with every pot, pan and kitchen implement available. It seems like so many volunteer opportunities require that children be at least 16 years old to participate and it is hard to find something that a whole family can do together.
How about making this a new Valentine's Day tradition in your family!

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