That Time I Volunteered At Ronald McDonald House

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last night, instead of spending our Saturday night like most other college kids, a group of my sorority sisters and I went down to Grand Ave. in Chicago and cooked a meal for the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald house. I didn't know much about the place before, other than the standard idea that it helped severely ill children, which had been imprinted in my mind after reading the donation box at McDonald's a billion times as a child. But I didn't realize exactly how it worked until yesterday.

We brought our own food to cook (pasta and meatballs) but they ended up having a whole pantry full of food, so we improvised when we saw we had time leftover and made cookies as well. This was my comfort zone; I haven't really cooked in such a long time and was grateful for the opportunity to help out. Then we served everything buffet style on a counter with heating pads (this kitchen was surprisingly high-tech) and watched as the families came through. I loved seeing the smiles on the children's faces, knowing that they were facing something I would most likely never have to deal with. We were lucky enough to get a tour after the dinner and kitchen was all clean, and just listening to this worker's admiration for the place was inspirational. I left the place feeling so good about what we'd just done, and I'm hoping we'll get at least another few chances to volunteer there!

Since when we left, it was late and we were already downtown, Isabel and I decided to roam around the city that, by our luck, had just been lit with christmas lights!

Chicago is honestly one of the prettiest places on earth this time of year..

And then, after meeting up with some of our "fam," we went in search of a place to eat and found a long-awaited spot at The Cheesecake Factory! I had the best original cheesecake of my life and all the while, we sat outside under heat lamps, looking at this gorgeous tree.

Only two more days in this gorgeous place and then I'm back home. How very bittersweet.


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