You have not heard from me for a while because I was on a vacation. We drove to Chicago to deliver some things to daughter Beth and to attend our grandson’s baptism. While there, Mike attended a week long meeting for business and I played with Simon and Tabitha as much as possible. It was a great time! Now that we are home, I miss the little ones so much!
What I want to show you is the Ronald McDonald house in downtown Chicago. Wherever our group goes, we do a community service project to leave the place just a little better than it was when we arrived. This time we spouses served lunch at the R.M. house.
I have heard about these houses for many years but it was the first time that I have been inside of one. It is a place where you probably never want to have to stay because if you are there it means that you have a child who is seriously ill and is being treated at a local hospital. But, if you find yourself in such a distressing situation, this is a wonderful place.
We were told that guests are asked to pay at least $10.00 per night, but if they cannot afford to do so, they may stay for free. Three meals a day are provided. Residents must clean their rooms and linen. Volunteers like us serve meals every day. In order to stay at the house or another like it in another city, a family must be referred by a social worker.
The Ronald McDonald house in Chicago is close to Lurie Children’s hospital. With 68 rooms on fifteen floors, it is the largest of its kind in the nation. They opened on June 26, 2012 to provide care and comfort to families. Sometimes children stay in the house with their families and go to the hospital for treatment and other times just the families stay at the house and go to the hospital every day to visit their child, brother or sister. We were privileged to serve families and several children for a noon meal.
Before the meal, our group was given a tour of the facility. Would you like to see it, too?
As you can imagine, there is not a lot of space in the city. When you cannot build out, you must build up. Here is the fifteen story exterior.
When a child arrives, he is invited to choose a free toy from this room. If it is a holiday, then he is invited to choose two toys.
There is a special room where little ones can play.
This is the state of the art kitchen where we served our meal. With the help of a caterer, we offered a garden salad, fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomato and basil salad, rice pilaf, marinated beef tenderloin, fresh fruit salad, and cookies and brownies. The state of the art kitchen made feeding a large number of people very easy.
Here is a look inside of a cheerful guest room.
This kinetic sculpture stands at the entry to the kitchen.
The rooftop garden welcomes you with this fabulous mosaic.
In addition, there is a lounge on each floor with comfortable furniture and a large flat screen television. The lounge that we saw was sponsored by the Chicago Blackhawks. It came complete with framed jerseys and hockey sticks. Every floor has a small food prep area and next to the kitchen where we served, there is a family kitchen so that families can prepare their own food if they wish. Every family is assigned a food pantry just off of the family kitchen where they can keep their food and they may share a refrigerator with five other families.
Have you ever done volunteer work? If so, then you know that helping others is a wonderful way to help yourself. Find a place in your community where you can be of service. If you should wish to make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House charity, you can send a check payable to
“RMHC-CNI” and mail it to:
1301 W. 22nd St. Ste. 905
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Usually, I finish a blog entry with the words, “Create and be happy.” This time, I must say, “Volunteer and Be Happy!”