Once a month the Fortiviti team takes a break from our normal office duties to give back to the Kansas City community. For the month of April, we decided to volunteer our time by preparing and serving a home-cooked meal for the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
As a special thank you to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City and Children’s Mercy Hosptial, Adele Hall Campus, we wanted to share some of our experiences from this memorable volunteer opportunity.
“I was very excited when the team decided to cook lunch for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald Family Room. This was a volunteer experience that hit close to home for me; I could easily relate to the families we were cooking for because not too long ago, I had received a similar meal.
A couple of months, ago I lost my Dad. Prior to his passing, he spent a week at a hospice house in Kansas City. During that time, my family and I pretty much spent all day, every day sitting at the hospice house with him. There were some long days, and sleepless nights, most of our meals were just a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant or ordering in for delivery.
However, one night, a group of volunteers prepared some homemade lasagna, salad, and garlic bread for the families staying at the hospice house. It was a delicious meal that I will never forget, and it had nothing to do with the fact that lasagna happens to be one of my favorites.
It was the fact that a group of strangers took the time to prepare a home-cooked meal and serve it to a bunch of people they’ve never met, and expected nothing in return. Their simple act of kindness gave me and my family the comfort and support we needed during a difficult time.
We often forget the power of a home-cooked meal during times of turmoil. I sympathized and recognized the looks on some of the family member’s faces when they first walked in – the tiredness, the sadness, and uncertainty of what was happening with their loved ones. As we were serving lunch, I saw some of those faces change to hopefulness and gratitude. It was great to give these families an opportunity to relax and enjoy a home-cooked meal with each other. It was an awesome opportunity to pay it forward, and it will be another meal I will never forget.”
– Dan Huntington
“For me, the most rewarding moment was watching this woman’s eyes light up and a smile spread across her face as she walked up to the table full of salad, baked potatoes, and crockpots full of chili. She told us she had been staying at the hospital with her son and hadn’t had a home-cooked meal in over five days. She was incredibly grateful. It melted my heart knowing that we were able to bring a simple joy to her day, as five minutes earlier she had been hunched over in the corner, cell phone pressed to her ear, and wiping away tears.”
– Amelia Reynolds
“This was my first time at Children’s Mercy Hospital, I was so impressed with how much the staff genuinely cared for the patients, and their families. The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a perfect place for families to relax and get away while still being close to their child. I’m glad we were able to contribute to the home away from home feeling by providing food, comfort and support.”
“Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald Family Room is an example of how a simple act of kindness can make someone’s day a little bit better. I would recommend this volunteer opportunity to anyone who is looking for a way to show your support to the families at Childrens’ Mercy Hospital. ”
– Natalie Smith