Updated: Dec 28, 2019
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES, NAPERVILLE/WINFIELD COOKIES FROM THE HEART Yup, it’s that time of year again! I’m not just talking about the beautiful holiday decorations and music, the rush of gift shopping, and the gathering of families. I’m talking about my kids asking to make holiday cookies every day starting December 1st. It is a fun time in our house as we sing carols and decorate our treats (and the kitchen counter) in every color frosting there is. It always feels so festive, and the kids love giving away plates to our neighbors and friends. Home-baked cookies tend to put a smile on your face. This is the emotion that volunteers of all ages hope to evoke during the holidays for families staying at Chicagoland Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH) through the Cookies from the Heart program.
The Ronald McDonald Houses are built near local hospitals to provide accommodations to families with sick children so they can stay together. “It’s not unusual for families to stay for weeks or months as their child receives treatment,” says Lisa Mitchell, Vice President of Programs and Services for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. “We want to do as much as we can to make them feel they are at home during their stay. Something as simple as a freshly baked cookie can make a big difference.”
Cookies from the Heart offers volunteer groups of up to ten people the opportunity to bake cookies for families staying at the houses. From corporate groups, scout troops, to friends and families, volunteers come together in the RMH kitchens to prepare treats and fill the home with a welcoming aroma of freshly baked cookies. Last year, 838 Cookies from the Heart groups graced their five RMH kitchens with an estimated 90,000 cookies lovingly prepared.
The closest RMH kitchen in the Western suburbs is near Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. The Ronald McDonald Family Room at Edward Hospital in Naperville has also been a recipient of cookies. Groups of up to ten people interested in baking Cookies from the Heart can visit www.rmhccni.org/volunteercdh/ to select a date. If baking isn’t your forte, there are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available as well from preparing a meal for their families, helping with housework, and working at events. Everyone is always welcome!
Mindy’s December Giving Inspiration: While doing your own holiday cookies this year, make a batch for the local fire or police station and/or consider your mailman and garbage man.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.