What a great way to come back to my blog after such a long absence. Yesterday I helped make and serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia!
I recently was hired by a a local firm in Doylestown after nine months on unemployment; Furia Rubel Communications. The company is celebrating their 10th Anniversary in a very special way. Instead of throwing a big party, they've gone one step further and have decided this year to give back to the community where they do business.
The interesting thing is, both of the projects I've been involved with since starting have to do with food!
While I started part way through the year, the first project I was sort of involved with was a food drive for our local food pantry through the Bucks County Housing Group. Through the efforts of Furia Rubel, the community gave over one ton of food to the organization!
Yesterday, we closed the office early and drive down to Front and Erie in Philadelphia, to one of the RMH locations. This one is connected to St. Christopher's Hospital and houses 18 families. Each family that stays here has to have a child in active treatment during their stay. They come from all over the country for treatment at Philadelphia's world-renowned hospitals for children with a plethora of diseases most of us have never heard of!
We planned our meal of chicken Parmesan, roasted red-skinned potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds, meatless meatballs, sauteed zucchini, cucumber salad, peanut butter pie and apple crisp and brought much of it cooked, needing to be warmed up for dinner service.
It wasn't really much to make or even that special of a meal. Familiar and healthy was more our goal and it seemed to be well received by the compliments and the many thank you's we heard.
What was special was how we felt after we were done. One of our team was a bit depressed, but glad she participated. Easy to feel that way, especially if you have a young child. Several members of the team interacted directly with families and the children, clearly the maternal instincts coming out and sharing what only a Mom can share with another Mom.
Then there was me.
You don't have to have children to feel, "There but for the grace of God, go I."
I've been a caretaker for loved ones contending with a life-threatening illness. You put all your life's energy into taking care of them, trying to get them better and keep there there. It's not easy.
Several times I became choked up when a parent was sharing their story with us. They are brave and I commend their strength.
Helping to nourish these families by supplying a good meal, some smiles and kindness is the least I could do. The simple act of bringing someone food during times of struggle...it isn't just for them. It's for me, too.