Many years ago, my college friend and post-college roommate, Jennifer Robbins Luker, told me about the Ronald McDonald House Charities. When she was Miss Mississippi College, she chose the Ronald McDonald House for her charity. I knew nothing of it, but as she told me about what they do and why, my heart melted. As a lover of all things McDonalds, I was quick to voice my support and to drop my change into the buckets at the drive-thru windows. After years of making my students do community service during the school year (while I saved all of mine for the summer) I started feeling guilty, and I went out in search of a place to serve. I immediately looked for Ronald McDonald Houses in Atlanta. I saw that they have a bakers club where people can come and bake for the families and workers, and I knew it was a perfect fit. My last semester in Atlanta, I went regularly for several months, and I loved it. In fact, I was disappointed when I found out Rome didn't have one, and I would be leaving my Atlanta house with no new one. In the last year, I have missed going and baking for the families. I miss seeing the wide eyes of the children when they see cupcakes or the parents sneaking around the corner because they smell freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. My interactions with the families were limited; I didn't want to pry, but I was there to listen if any family members wanted to talk. Most didn't but a few did.
I have kept up with the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House and the national Ronald McDonald House Charities through twitter, and I love spreading the word of the great things they do. The Gatewood house in Atlanta invited me to come and tour the house and see what all they do. While I'm very familiar with the Gatewood house kitchen, I realized I'd never seen the whole house, and I have no clue what kinds of things are there that don't include meal time. I'm looking forward to going and visiting tomorrow, and I am happy they've invited me. I'm can't wait to share my experience with y'all in another post soon.
Until then, kiss the children in your life. If they are healthy, thank God that they are and pray they continue to be, but please also pray for those whose children are not. If your children aren't healthy, please know that you are loved and being prayed for, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities are an amazing resource for you.
I had some car troubles today that kept me from making it to the Ronald McDonald House, but we're doing it next week, so check back later in the week for updates!