Gratitude Works Both Ways

Young Volunteers Cook for Ronald McDonald House Families

Our young volunteers love to cook!

By Marissa Vogel, Guest Blogger

I received a letter in the mail the other day from a family who stayed at the Ronald McDonald House thanking our group for coming in to make dinner.

“As little as you are, you are big helpers. Your help making dinner for the families at the Ronald McDonald House meant so much to us.”

It felt wonderful to receive such a kind note of appreciation. After reading it, though, I realized that I am equally grateful to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House as well as the staff and volunteers there for always welcoming our group of family volunteers. While we may be helping them, they are helping us by giving our youngest community members a chance to give back and help others.

Little Helping Hands Cooks at the Ronald McDonald House

Young children enjoy working with their parents to cook for families at the Ronald McDonald House.

Last year our organization brought 121 family volunteers and 182 children ages 3-12 into the Ronald McDonald House to provide a meal and this year, we are poised to bring in a larger number. Our group has donated and prepared meals 2-3 times per month for the past 3 years, and to this day, it remains one of our most popular family volunteer opportunities.

Beautiful food prepared by Little Helping Hands for Ronald McDonald House families.

This is one of many meals Little Helping Hands has cooked at the Ronald McDonald House.

While many of our family volunteers have heard of the Ronald McDonald House, most have never been to the House itself so the opportunity to help prepare a meal not only provides a meaningful volunteer experience, but a way to educate the entire family about the wonderful programs and services that Ronald McDonald House Charities provides to families in our community that are experiencing traumatic times.

We’ve also had volunteers that have stayed at the House themselves and coming back to volunteer has provided them an opportunity to “return the favor” as shared in A Meal to Remember, a feature story in our recent newsletter.

So what do our child volunteers think? We asked 6-year old Skye why she likes volunteering with us at the Ronald McDonald House.

“I like doing the Ronald McDonald House project so that I can make food for the families, and that makes them feel better. Since they are worried about their kids, at least they don’t have to worry about getting something to eat.”

Thanks Skye ~ I couldn’t have said it any better.


Marissa Vogel is founder and executive director of Little Helping Hands a local 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides ongoing opportunities to educate young children about the value of community service while at the same time providing a fun and positive learning experience for the entire family.  

This entry was posted in Guest Blogger, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Volunteers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Gratitude Works Both Ways

  1. Pingback: RMHC Austin

  2. Cystal says:

    I love how organizations or just regular people help other people. There was a story of a bunch of families which collected coupons for food and then gave the discounted food to families that were struggling.

  3. Pingback: FedEx Cares! | RMHC Austin

  4. Jay Drayer says:

    What a great post. So much seems to be going-on all the time at @rmhc-austin and it’s wonderful being able see how rich and touching so many of these activities truly are, as well as in the numerous ways they so warmly bring people together in the interests of collaboration and whole healing.

    • rmhcaustin says:

      Thanks for being a fan, Jay. We are grateful for your work in the community, too. It takes all of us to ensure that we support people when they are facing medical crisis. Thanks for reading!

  5. Jane Rose says:

    We love LHH and very much appreciate all that your volunteers do to make our guest families’ stay with us as comforting as possible. What you do is so wonderful on SO many levels! Thank you!

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