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Act of Kindness: Baking Cookies for the Families at The Ronald McDonald House

Baking Cookies for Families at The Ronald McDonald House:

An Act of Kindness

When I heard what Krista did with her young boys, I knew that I needed to share it with you.  My boys were excited to hear her story, and we are now planning to do something similar on the next day that the boys have off school.  Read about Krista’s experience serving with her boys at The Ronald McDonald House.

My family recently had the opportunity to serve at the Ronald McDonald House, which is a place where families can stay while their children are being treated at local hospitals.  We were able to go to The Ronald McDonald House during the evening hours and bake cookies for the residents.

Those staying at the Ronald McDonald House often keep up an exhausting schedule as they care for their loved ones.  They rarely stop long enough to eat, let alone take the time to make anything homemade.  We thought it would be fun to make some goodies as a little treat for them.

And fun it was! My boys (ages 4 and 7) LOVE to make treats.  So for us–this was the perfect service opportunity.  It also led to some really good discussions about who is staying there and why.  We talked about why people staying there may not have time to stop and eat.  Or energy to make a meal.  How the residents work so hard to take care of their kids.  That they don’t have all the comforts of home.  How some of the people staying there are far away from home.  My boys loved being there and are still talking about and planning some different things we can do for those that are staying there.In looking at various opportunities to serve in the past, I have found that many places will not allow small children to help.  The Ronald McDonald House not only allows young children– they encourage it! The staff were so kind and so thankful and really made my boys (and us!) feel good about what we were doing.
We plan to make this a regular activity for our family and to invite different friends to join us each time we go.  There are also many other service opportunities at the Ronald McDonald House that can involve kids.  Some include making dinner, cleaning the toy room, general cleaning, and special projects.  In addition, they are always looking for donations of canned goods and hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc)–anything you may need when you’re away from home!There are also opportunities to help with celebrating birthdays (small gifts, decorations)and holiday projects.  For example, a local orthodontist office sponsored a pumpkin decorating contest and then donated the pumpkins to the Ronald McDonald House to help make the house festive for Halloween.  I still smile as I think of them telling me of the squeals of delight of the children at the house as they brought in the decorated pumpkins.

If you’re looking for opportunities to serve with your children– consider contacting your local Ronald McDonald House.  Our experience there was priceless.  —Krista

About Krista

Krista Dial is the founder and president of The Kathryn R. Nelson Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to brightening the days of cancer patients and others undergoing hardships.  The Foundation is named after Krista’s mother who left an amazing legacy of love and service when she passed away after a battle with breast cancer.  The Foundation hopes to continue that legacy in her honor.

Krista grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio (Go Bearcats) where she learned to love buckeye candy and Cincinnati chili.  She graduated from Utah State University (Go Aggies!) with a bachelors degree in sociology and a minor in snow shoveling.  Krista is currently getting a thorough education in high temperatures and Texas wildlife and bugs in San Antonio, Texas.  (Go SPURS!).  She loves to bake, read, travel, spend time with her hilarious comedians (ages 7 and 4) and beat her husband, Chris, in just about any game.  Krista is passionate about seeking out opportunities for her family to serve as she strives to continue the legacy her wonderful mother left for her to follow.

More about Krista’s foundation, The Twenty Dollar Difference
How do you thank someone for taking an interest in you after your mom passes away from breast cancer when you are nine years old? How do you thank someone for taking you shopping and spending time with you when you have a huge gaping hole in your heart? How do you thank someone for helping you through those awkward pre-teen and teenage years and for doing things for you that you yearned for your mom to help with? How do you thank someone for loving and caring about your kids when you want so much for your mom to be here loving them?

Then how do you watch this same friend who is now a mom with three young kids fight her own cancer battle? And how do you cope when she tells you the doctors tell her she is down to only weeks left to live? How can I stand by now and watch this family of little means and not try to do something for them?
 I wanted to thank my dear friend in the only way I knew how– by making her last months of life full of happiness and creating lasting memories with her family! But at the time, I was not in a financial place to help much. We knew we needed help. People began donating $20 here. And $20 there. Others were donating their sky miles and hotel rewards. Photography services. Tickets to athletic events. It amazingly all came together in a mere week! Unfortunately, it was too late. My friend’s health suddenly went downhill fast. She passed away only one week after the doctors gave her two months to live. I will always regret not starting sooner. Not doing more.

HOWEVER! In the process, we learned great lessons: Small acts of service and small donations DO matter! We CAN make a difference every day in simple ways! Combining our efforts with others can make miracles happen!

The Kathryn R. Nelson Memorial Foundation, named after our mom, was born out of this experience. We are a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to finding ways to support, serve and encourage others whose hands are hanging down.

A great book to discuss the power of our actions: