Thank you for your interest in helping the families staying at the Albany Ronald McDonald House. Providing meals, or baking fresh treats for our families is a very important part of our operation. Our guests really appreciate a hot home-cooked meal prepared by caring individuals.
1. Dinner is usually served between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Most groups arrive between 3:30 and 4:00 but you can arrive earlier to prepare dishes which need more time. Please notify the staff if you need to arrive earlier.
2. Plan to cook dinner for 25-30 individuals. However, be aware that the actual number of people attending the meal varies greatly even when the House is full. Not all families will be able to make it to the House between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm, but they will be searching for leftovers when they return. Rest assured that whether the food is eaten in the kitchen at the time of the meal, carried away, or warmed up as leftovers later; it will be eaten, and is very much appreciated. Feel free to contact a staff member a day or two before you serve your meal to confirm the number of people in the house.
3. Groups of two to five volunteers work best, but we request groups be no larger than ten people so as not to overwhelm our guests. If you have more than seven volunteers the kitchen space and jobs for everyone will be limited. Groups should be of high school age or older, but younger siblings of a family may help too.
4. We ask you to provide a complete meal with a meat, side dish and vegetable. Many dishes can be enjoyed by all ages, but we ask you to avoid serving lamb, fish or exotic dishes, or if they are included in your menu, please consider it a side dish and offer an alternative selection. When selecting your menu, be aware that the majority of our guests are adults. Please notify the staff of your dinner selection when you decide on your menu, ideally one week in advance to avoid providing a duplicate dinner.
5. All food must be prepared and cooked on site at the Ronald McDonald House.
6. Groups should bring a list of all ingredients used in preparing the meal.
7. Beverages do not need to be provided as we already have a $.25 Coke machine, coffee and milk. Feel free to bring a beverage if you prefer, but no alcohol is permitted at the Ronald McDonald House.
8. We have two large kitchens with plenty of utensils. There are two stoves in each kitchen. You are able to prepare the meal in our large kitchen, if needed you may use the ovens in the small kitchen, but please keep that kitchen available for families use as much as possible.
9. As most families arrive back at the House at different times please set the meal up buffet style, you may choose to set the tables with silverware, glasses and/or tablecloths. Please wash any dirty pots and pans before you leave.
10. Please remind all chefs to wash hands thoroughly before and while preparing food, food safe gloves are required when handling all ready-to-eat food, for example while preparing salad & slicing bread.
11. Please sign in at the front desk in our Goods and Services Book upon arrival. Tours may be given upon request, please ask the volunteer or a staff member.
12. Please keep in mind that the guests who you will be serving are presently experiencing crisis in their life. It is important to be empathetic and set a respectful mood while cooking in the Ronald McDonald House. We hope volunteers will be friendly to our guests while cooking, but to consider their need for privacy and space as well.
13. To ensure the comfort of our guests and adequate quantities of food for the families you are providing for, groups of more than three volunteers are asked not to stay to eat at the House. Food should be left out when you leave, as many families return later in the evening. The RMH volunteer on duty that evening will label and refrigerate items.
14. If an unforeseen conflict arises, you can provide for a pizza, deli, or Chinese night instead. Please call a staff member to make arrangements.
To pick a date or ask further questions, call Tina, Debbie or Lori at 438-2655