Food is my love language; therefore, it is my preferred method for giving & receiving connection and affection. So, it only makes sense that a charity as special as Ronald McDonald House that offers volunteer opportunities to cook for families would be my organization of choice to get involved with in Saint Louis. I have been volunteering and making donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Saint Louis for the past 10 years. The mission of RMHC Stl is to provide comfort, care and a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children. Part of providing that comfort and care is offering these families home cooked meals. I truly believe that cooking a meal for someone is one of the very best ways to show up for people in a time of need and provide support, care, affection in a way that they can truly feel and experience it. In pre-covid years I would gather my family, close friends and coworkers together and we would go to the various Stl RMHC houses to meal prep, cook and clean for the wonderful families staying with them. However, this year I was able to switch it up and show up for these families in a more covid friendly / Stl Foodies style way. I am lucky enough to call Haley Riley, one of the owners of Salt + Smoke, a close friend of mine and asked him to help! He was more than willing to show up and provide an amazing BBQ dinner for the families at the largest RMHC in Saint Louis. I got to visit the wildly impressive Salt + Smoke Commissary for the very first time and help meal prep and cook in the kitchen with Haley and his Salt + Smoke right-hand man, Collie. The guys made cherry & oak smoked chicken, roasted veggie puff pastry tarts, smoked pork loin all with roasted broccoli caser and loaded mashed potatoes. I had so much fun helping the guys in the kitchen that I almost felt like I was a part of the Salt + Smoke team, until I dropped a pan of the mashed potatoes and was quickly humbled. We gained extra helping hands from another friend while we were in the thick of prepping those delicious barbeque meals, my friend Nick from Nicky Slices (the coolest pizza club in Stl). Together we packaged each of the meal options individually and delivered them to RMHC. We were met there by older sister and my three nephews who brought with them some special gifts for the families. They brough with them handmade gooey butter cake bath bombs and soaps from my sister’s soapery (Perfectly Polished Bath Store). Being at RMHC and getting to chat with their representatives about their mission and the families staying with them is always an extremely special and important experience. Getting to involve some of my favorite Saint Louis restaurants and my family made it even better. Their willingness to help means the world to me and I look forward to volunteering with more special people in the future. Thank you, Haley, Collie, Nick, Nicole, William, Jackson and Max.
If you are ever interested in helping or donating to RMHC check out rmhcstl.com <3