On Sabbath, April 5, more than ten eager individuals made sack lunches for the families of Ronald McDonald House as a part of Metropolitan’s first Beyond the Walls outreach day. Ronald McDonald House serves as a “home-away-from-home” for the parents of hospitalized children. Parents are able to stay at the House for little or no cost, and have access to private bedrooms, home-cooked meals, and an array of support services.
When we arrived, we set up in the House’s conference room and began an assembly line which included: making the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, filling the bags with fruit, granola bars, and juice, and putting a napkin and wet wipe in each bag. Other members of the group spent their time writing notes of encouragement for the families and placed one of the colorful cards in each lunch bag.
The service project overall was a great success. The House Manager expressed his gratitude for Metro’s service. Although we did not interact with the parents, one of the Metro members in attendance shared her own experience with a Ronald McDonald House when her goddaughter was hospitalized. She explained what a blessing it had been to her and her goddaughter’s parents, and shared with the group how much the families really appreciate being able to come back from a long day at the hospital, walk into the kitchen, and know food is there waiting for them.
Each person in the group commented on how much they enjoyed themselves and voiced their hope that Metro would continue the Beyond the Walls outreach days. As one member said, “We should do this once a month. There is no reason not to. If we come consistently we will stay in their eye. We are just so blessed. When you get involved, you get excited. You can never do too much.”
The group ended the day by joining together with the Metro team that made hot meals for the House families, having prayer, and taking a group picture with Ronald McDonald himself.