RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES

The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that is very special to my family. My older cousin was involved in a tragic car accident while on a road trip with some friends; while she was in a coma for a long week, my aunt and uncle were fortunate enough to stay at a Ronald McDonald House. The ability to stay there allowed them to keep close enough to the hospital to be with my cousin but also enjoy a more comfortable sleep than a hospital-room chair. Unfortunately, my cousin never came out of the coma and she was declared brain dead but our family’s appreciation and gratitude for the Ronald McDonald House lived on. My mom and I were privileged enough to cook a meal for the people currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Tampa.

The people that work at the Ronald McDonald House were some of the most welcoming and genuine people I have encountered lately. They gave my mom and I a tour of the entire building and gave us a more detailed history and description than what we knew before. It is such an amazing thing that they do and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to volunteer and dedicate my time. They had everything we could have possibly needed in the kitchen. I, with the help of my mom, prepared a large garden salad, spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic cheese bread and chocolate brownies.

After everything was finished, the families started to come into the kitchen/dining area and prepare their plates. I was amazed at how grateful everyone was for such a simple meal. You could see the exhaustion and stress weighing on some of the families that were there…it breaks my heart when families must cope with having a sick child and there is nothing anyone can really do to make it go away. I felt like the meal that I prepared for them was a good opportunity for these families to get together and maybe forget about a sick child for an hour or so.

Cooking this meal was one of the best evenings of my life. I have never felt so good about doing something so simple. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be volunteering at Ronald McDonald House again. I can’t wait until I go back again. The Ronald McDonald House is an amazing organization and I wouldn’t have rather volunteered or donated any of my time anywhere else.

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