A comforting home-cooked meal and a little compassion for families with a lot of need. That’s what the Ronald McDonald House Charities “Meals that Heal” program offers.
U-Haul was happy to take part in the program on Dec. 14 by sending 11 Team Member volunteers to the Phoenix Ronald McDonald House to make dinner for the current residents. RMHC of Phoenix strives to provide a “home away from home” experience via its temporary housing for families that travel from all over the country to receive medical treatment for a child at pediatric centers in the Valley.
U-Haul is celebrating its 50th year of being headquartered in Phoenix in 2017. The Company has a longstanding commitment to serving the community, with a focus on organizations that help people meet their most basic of human needs: food, clothing and shelter.
Meals that Heal
RMHC gives companies the opportunity to sponsor a night at its locations through the Meals that Heal program. Companies can provide and cook a meal for the guests staying at RMHC.
These meals are significant because the majority of the families spend the entirety of their days at the hospital or at doctor’s appointments, often unable to take the time to prepare or pick up a complete meal.
“It’s nice to know that U-Haul cares about being a part of the community,” states U-Haul volunteer Liza Perry, regulatory compliance analyst for Oxford Life Insurance. “These volunteer events also foster a community within the Company.”
U-Haul Team Members took a vote on the cuisine that would be served to the RMHC guests on their evening of kitchen work. Mexican food won so tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fruit, dessert pastries and loads of guacamole lined the menu.
With only an hour of time before the RMHC guests arrived for dinner, Team Members got to work. Fruit went on skewers, while vegetables were chopped and the taco meat sizzled on the stove.
U-Haul volunteers have opportunities to give back to the community through Company-initiated events like this one. These occur at least once every month.
“I’m proud to work for a company that makes the world better,” says Lydia Martinez, U-Haul database administrator. “I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that movement.”
As the clock struck 6 p.m., RMHC guests filled the dining space. Smiles spread across their faces while they peered at the home-cooked meal made by Team U-Haul.
Through the support of the community, RMHC has had more than 42,300 families check-in since their doors opened in 1985.
While parents and children ate, Team Members got a tour of the facility. U-Haul assisted with packing the Phoenix Ronald McDonald House during the facility’s remodel in 2016. The Company sponsors a room at the East Roanoke Avenue location as well. Decorated with U-Haul memorabilia, the U-Haul suite is large enough for a family of four to stay.
After dinner, U-Haul volunteers packed up the leftovers and cleaned the kitchen, while the guests visited in the common area.
“When companies like U-Haul volunteer, it emphasizes their compassion and willingness to make the community better,” Martinez adds.
Special thanks to event volunteers Paige Brown, Steve Dudley, John Heiland, Danielle Lichty, Armelyn Louis, Lydia Martinez, Kat Miles, Liza Perry, Sebastien Reyes, Alonna Ross and Hilda Stockey.
Did you know U-Haul recently helped the Cincinnati Bengals host a canned food drive with its versatile U-Box portable moving and storage containers?