The Saint team assembled a group of volunteers to cook dinner for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children are undergoing treatment.
Ronald McDonald House cares for families of children whose health needs take them far from home and keeps families together, providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community when it matters most. The house was designed with families in mind. Divided into four homelike Pavilions (Forest, Beach, Mountain, and River), each with their own kitchens and cozy common lounges. The house is situated on the grounds of BC Children’s Hospital – 575 steps away to be exact. It has 73 bedrooms and hosts over 2000 families per year with the average length of a stay by the families is 12 nights. Some families end up staying more than 100 nights per year. Over 30% of the families will stay twice or more within one year – The longest stay by one family was 373 nights and the most stays by one family is 25.
These numbers are astonishing when you stop and think about it. Imagine having to live in a strange environment and function while your child is ill and being treated. Hard to fathom!
In addition, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon offers:
- Room for more families with seriously ill children – up to 73 families at a time
- Accommodation for the entire family in spacious private guestrooms, each with their own bathroom
- Four professionally equipped kitchens and two dining rooms.
- Welcoming indoor and outdoor lounge areas which encourage families to meet others in similar situations.
- Great play spaces including a LEGO lounge and Magic Room.
- Arts & Crafts Studio, where young artists can express themselves.
- Teen Lounge, an adult-free zone where our guests who are too young to vote can hang out with friends and siblings.
- Indoor fitness centre, helping parents to stay active during their stay.
The dinner program is designed for people to volunteer in groups of around 12-15 people and cook a healthy and fun dinner (or breakfast). It allows the families to focus on their children along with their own wellbeing and not have to think about preparing and cooking a meal. Saint reached out to RMH earlier this year to secure a date to cook the dinner. Once the date was secured, it was down to menu and volunteer planning. We sent out an email to a list of our contacts to gauge interest in joining us for the evening. The response was tremendous and we ended up with a wide variety of people attending – Architects, trades, suppliers, friends, family, significant others and even some clients - Both past and present! Amazing!
With all the planning and initial meal prep completed, it was time to get started. Upon arrival to the house at 4pm, we are greeted and given a tour of the kitchen and areas that we will be using. Once all food is brought inside and set up, it’s off for a full tour of the facility. This gives a great insight into the operations of the house and importance of volunteers day in day out.
Once the tour is over, its all hands on deck!
Homemade sausage rolls
Mac and Cheese
Crackers and home made salsa
Marinated BBQ Lamb and Chicken
Roast potatoes and carrots
Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and whipped cream
Rice Krispies squares
Dinner is at 6pm sharp and families start rolling in at around 5:45 to scope out the meal and secure a spot in the line up. This is when the pressure of expecatation kicks in! Does it smell good? Does it look good? Will they like it?!?! All the emotions! The families form an orderely queue and the food is served buffet style. Judging by one gentleman returning four times…. We would say it was a success!
Thank you again to everyone that joined us for the evening. We appreciated your time and your efforts! If you or your company would like to participate in the dinner program, you can find more information HERE