Cooking up a Storm at Ronald McDonald House Toronto
Ronald McDonald House Toronto provides more than just a place for families to lay their heads. Their mission to provide a “home away from home” for seriously ill children and their families to heal better together is a critical resource to hundreds of out-of-town families who come to Toronto every year in search of life saving treatment for their seriously ill children. The heart of RMH Toronto is a commitment to providing a positive, safe and nurturing atmosphere for families supporting each other during this emotional time allowing families to heal together.
This unique and caring environment currently houses 28 families at a time and for an average stay of 51 days per family. Creating a sense of normalcy for these families is paramount. Their “like home” services, including a fully accredited in-house school, the Expressive Arts Program, canine therapy, an in-house car available for families to use, and a family support program are but a few of the ways in which RMH Toronto supports these out-of-town families.
Among the many fantastic programs provided by RMH Toronto, the “Home for Dinner” program is one of the most hands-on, community engagement components of the House. After a long, emotionally draining day at the hospital with your sick child families appreciate the comfort of a home cooked meal. RMH Toronto engages small groups to “make a real difference in the lives of families” inviting them to come and cook dinner for residents. The “Home for Dinner” program provides healthy, home cooked meals created in-house by volunteers, extending the sense of heart and community through this buffet style meal.
Livewire is fortunate to have participated in “Home for Dinner” and the excitement around the office is palpable. Brainstorming and meal plan conversations have brought out our inner chefs. In addition, Livewire is providing its own twist to the event, using the creative talent within our team to engage with the future graphic designers and art directors in the House’s art room. Upon returning from the evening our team was rather impressed with the at home feel of the House. It was clear that the staff of RMH Toronto went the extra mile to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. As one Livewirean was keen to point out, the presence of a flat screen television put his mind at ease for all of the House’s fathers.
With one evening at RMH Toronto under our belts, we have put together a photo journal documenting the amazing time that our team had preparing dinner for the House residents.
Thanks to everyone at RMH Toronto for inviting us to contribute to this life-changing resource for seriously ill children and their families.
If you’d like to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House, please visit www.rmhtoronto.org. Donations are always welcome.
Lesson #1: Hairnets and gravy are an excellent combination.
Lesson #2: When making Shepherd’s Pie you can never have too much mashed potatoes.
Lesson #3: Too many cooks does not spoil the pot.
As one Livewirian expressed, doing something hands-on is much better than simply making a donation.
However, both are much appreciated.
Lesson #4: Chocolate + Desert = Smiles all around!!
Although, nine amateur chefs peeling, grilling, slicing and dicing was in itself a rewarding experience, we managed to put together a tasty spread of Shephard’s pie, Pasta Salad and delicious deserts that brought out the top chef in all of us. However, the true fruit of our labor was felt in the appreciation and gratitude we received from the house residents. For more on volunteer opportunities with RHMT visit their website here.
Stay tuned for the second installment of our RMHT experience …