David and I decided that as part of our goal to live more intentionally this year, we would volunteer more as a family. Particularly to those organizations that help children and families in need.
On our first giving back adventure, we bought toys and donated them to Dayton Children’s Medical Center. As a family, we delivered the toys and talked to some of the nurses and staff about how excited the kids would be to receive them. The whole family really enjoyed it.
So, when we started thinking about what our next adventure should be, we didn’t go far. In fact, we went right across the street from Children’s and offered to provide a meal to the families staying at the Miami Valley Ronald McDonald House.
We thought it would be a great way for us, as a family, to prepare organic and wholesome food (something that is becoming a more central part of our lives on the farm) while offering relief to families dealing with unthinkable situations.
Our night to provide dinner was Thursday. So, on Monday, I decided I better read through the folder of information RMHC provided about the meals program. And here is where reading the fine print prior to three days before we were to fix a meal would have been smart.
First, I learned that all food must be brought to the house in its original container from the store. This is to ensure freshness and lack of contamination. Makes sense. I mean they have no idea what my kitchen looks like. While a bit more challenging, I thought no problem. We can make this work.
Next I learned that no children under the age of 13 are allowed to cook on site. Again, this makes sense. Not the cleanest of beings those kids under 13. Wouldn’t want them contaminating food either.
Then it hits me…I am going to have to cook an entire meal – entree, side, vegetable and desert – for 40 people from scratch in an hour and a half BY MYSELF!! Oh holy cow!
Let’s just say, I pulled it off. It was crazy and messy and there were moments I thought I was just going to have to order pizzas, but it came together. (It helped that they didn’t even question Makenna’s age and let her right in!)
The looks on the faces of those parents who were excited to eat the food I prepared made it all worth it. I truly hope that this small sacrifice of time and effort made one night in their awful journeys a little easier to bear.