Meals from the Heart Program
At the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia, we pride ourselves on being more than a house that offers shelter; we are a home. We do our very best to ensure that families are experiencing the highest level of comfort possible during their time of need. As a part of that commitment we try to minimize costs associated with everyday needs like toiletries and meals. One of the biggest ways we can do this is through our volunteers. There are several ways to be a volunteer with the House, but a volunteer favorite has always been the Meals from the Heart program.
Meal volunteers are able to come alone or in small groups to prepare a meal for the guests staying at the House. Groups can schedule a singular visit which includes a tour of the House, or they can choose to prepare meals on a recurring schedule. Our Executive Director, Renee Sturkie, served as a meal volunteer with her family before taking on a full-time role at the House.
Volunteers love this position, because they fulfil a tangible need that is visibly appreciated. Meal preparation is also a great team building activity that encourages creativity and collaboration. Several local companies participate as meal volunteers, displaying their commitment to the community with and independent of their corporate philosophies. Volunteers also gain the opportunity to share and learn new recipes with each other, fostering communication and leadership skills.
Guests staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia are able to cook for themselves, but we know that cooking can be an unwanted task after a stressful day and unfortunately many guests experience very stressful days. Meal volunteers help to reduce that stress by using their culinary talents to help others. There are also cookbooks available for volunteers who may not be as comfortable creating new meals on the spot. While it is encouraged that all meal volunteers bring their own ingredients, there are a small variety of ingredients available to be used in the pantry.
Meal volunteers are awarded four (4) volunteer hours if their meal meets the following guidelines: the meal must be complete with an entree, side, and dessert and must feed a minimum of eight (8) people. Dinner is served between 6:30 pm and 7: 30 pm, after that the meals are placed in a refrigerator where residents are able to access and warm them at their discretion. Interested parties should contact Morwen Bush, the Volunteer Coordinator, to schedule a meal preparation date at Morwen.Bush@rmhcwga.org or call the House at 706-321-0033 ext 101.