March 29, 2018: Yesterday evening, I went to volunteer at Nora’s Home along with my friend Katherine. The non-profit organization serves as an affordable home away from home for transplant patients and their families who travel to the Texas Medical Center for their surgery.
While Nora’s Home appreciates volunteers gardening or doing art activities with guests, one of the best ways you can help is by preparing a hot, delicious meal for those staying at the house. These guests are either undergoing transplant surgery themselves or helping a family member through the process, so with all of these medical worries, the guests really appreciate not having to worry about cooking dinner.
Katherine and I started preparing right after school, when we drove to Cosco to pick up some cooking essentials. We got several hot roasted chickens, ingredients for salad and pasta, a small vanilla berry cake, lemonade, and plenty of fresh fruit.
Important tip: focus on fresh & healthy foods. Hospital food is never very appetizing, and I’ve learned over the years that patients and their families really appreciate fresh fruits and vegetables, which are harder to get in the hospital.
The Nora’s Home volunteer coordinator will email you several hours before you serve to let you know how many guests to expect. In our case, we bought food for 14-18 people, the usual number, but only about 8 people ended up eating. (Expect to have leftovers.)
Katherine and I started preparing food in the kitchen around 5:20 pm, then served dinner from 6-7:30 pm. To make the meal more cheerful and festive, we bought a bouquet of flowers to decorate the serving table (check out our spread above). It’s just a small gesture, but if it helps to brighten the patient’s day, then it’s worth a try! All of the guests were so appreciative of the meal, and many stopped us to say thank you.
If you’re looking to help very deserving patients and their families, I’d recommend volunteering at Nora’s Home. By clicking here, you can sign up for a night to cook dinner. And if you’d like to learn more, please visit their site or check out our Nora’s Home charity profile.