I think about these families and how tough life circumstance is for them. One of their kids is sick. Sick enough that the family essentially has to relocate while the child is being treated. Ronald McDonald House helps many families, but primarily it's kids with cancer, kids needing a transplant, and also parents of premature babies (usually the moms). Often, the families are there for 3 months at a time. They give up the comforts of home to move to our city so their child can get medical treatment that isn't available where they live. Sometimes a parent has to stop working all together to be there with the child. It changes everything about that family. Yet, here is a place they can come and be welcomed and meet other families going through similar circumstance.
There are many ways to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House, and home for dinner is one of them. Basically, you show up with a small group, a bunch of groceries, and you make a home cooked meal for the family. They have nothing to prepare or clean up, but dinner is made and hot for them to enjoy. A nice break for them. It's not much, but it's something that on occasion I have loved being part of. The families are always grateful, and it's nice to know that it is appreciated.
I want to do more, and I'm working on that. Our workplace has adopted one of the families for Christmas, and a bunch of friends, family and I are participating in their stocking program. I know these things are small, yet in the midst of the chaos the families are experiencing, it's nice to know there's little things that us outsiders can do to help them out a bit. I hope I never need to use this type of facility, but I am sure grateful it is there.
So, next time you stop at McDonalds, remember what a huge impact their charity program has on the lives of so many families going through some of the worst times ever, all around the world. They really do give kids what they need most when they are sick... their families!!