If you have ever stayed in a hospital, you know it is not a place anyone wants to be for longer than a couple of hours. Many times people are there for extended stays for major surgery or even terminal illnesses. It’s a place where very little breaks up the monotony of the day, patients are mainly bedridden and families spend long hours sitting bedside for support, company and of course comfort. Now imagine if this was you and your child in this hospital. I can, because we did for my daughter’s open heart surgery. She has forgotten the pain and suffering she had during her surgery, stay and recovery, but we never will. What I also remember are the therapy dogs, entertainers, guests that brought gifts for my daughter to cheer her up and the people at the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Many times families were in there with family after hearing horrific news, and other times there just to get away from a white room and bed with medicine, needles and beeping machines that we hope continue to monitor without any alarms. To this day it is the motivating factor behind the Infinite Smile Project and my newest company, Ever After Princess Events (http://www.everafterprincess.com), to create programs, projects and events that bring smiles to children who have extended or permanent stays in hospitals.
Each night a different family or restaurant would bring in homemade food that was warm and balanced. This was a far cry and welcomed smell after coming off the weekend where by the time we considered eating, the vending machine was our only option and all that was left were stale Hot Pockets and Iced Cookies. Ever since our stay 3 years ago, around Thanksgiving I spend a night making and serving homemade food for families on the children’s Oncology floor. The families have the same reaction I had then – simply grateful. Such an easy thing to do, we have gotten our children involved. They help me make the food, package it, and then deliver it to Ronald McDonald Family Room at CHOC. Now older, they understand from our stories that we are paying it forward for those that treated us so kindly. Complete strangers that did something I will never forget.
This month our ISP Ambassador Campaign is the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room. There are many things your local RMH needs and each family can contact their local RMH, but we wanted to provide directions for our ISP Ambassador families with a simple project to do once summer vacation starts. Here are your directions for JUNE!
- Selection of some easy, healthy recipes that apply to the masses.
- Ingredients for these recipes
- Disposable containers (lasagna trays, plastic storage containers)
- (healthy) children to cook the food for the families and children staying in your local hospital
How to do this challenge:
- Look up your local children’s hospital
- contact your local hospital or Ronald McDonald House and ask what their needs are currently
- if you wish to make a dinner, ask if there are any restrictions or instructions on what and when to bring something for the families.
- Ask how many this meal should feed for that current week.
- Visit the store to purchase items for the meal. Meal can be just one entrée but ideally you will want an entrée, side dish and dessert.
- Bring either a decorative table cloth, flowers, or something to make the table happy and inviting
- Schedule a morning to prepare and cook the meal with your children
- Bring the meal to your Ronald McDonald House/Family Room on date scheduled. Ask if you can bring your children. This is a great opportunity to learn about kindness and feel the reactions around them for such a kind act for other children.
My kids love to cook. I make it into a cooking lesson with a huge purposeful outcome – helping other families.
For more information on the Ronald McDonald Charities, visit: http://www.rmhc.org/home