Volunteers Whip Up Homestyle Meals at the Ronald McDonald House
By Gwyneth Doland
If cooking for yourself doesn't give you that warm, fuzzy feeling, sign up to make dinner for families of sick children at the Ronald McDonald House. Call 925-2220 to volunteer.
Former staffer Sue Glenn comes in at least once a month to make dinner for families of critically ill or injured children. Volunteer cooks, like her, make enough food for 25 to 30 people. Dinner leftovers are stored in a refrigerator and usually get eaten for lunch the next day.
Executive Director Sandy Mann oversees the House, which depends on donations, in-kind services and volunteers to provide room and board to the hundreds of families who stay there every year. Although a $15 nightly donation is requested, families are never turned away if they can’t pay.
Volunteer and Events Manager Stella Lavis keeps track of volunteer cooks and their menus with a monthly schedule, posted in the kitchen. The kitchen is also open to families who want to cook for themselves.
The house, really more like a small, quiet extended-stay hotel, is a home-away-from-home for up to 18 families at a time. After spending all day at the hospital with their children, parents and siblings have a place to sleep, do laundry, watch movies, play and eat a hot meal.