Any parent with a child in the hospital knows it's not an easy thing for any family to endure. That's why consultants from Thirty-One gifts took away a burden by cooking for residents of the Ronald McDonald House on Monday night.
The idea is simple: on the 31st of every month that has 31 days, the consultants prepare either lunch or dinner for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
"We came here, and they said, 'Please don't make spaghetti. We get spaghetti a lot.' So we thought, Taco Night," said Lauren Seiler of Thirty-One gifts,
And Mexican it was, for parents like Kendall and Stacy Smith, the proud parents of newborn triplets.
"They were born at 33 weeks and one day, so they are premature. I never imagined I'd be unlike every other mom, you'd think you'd have healthy children," said Kendall Smith.
So while the triplets are gaining the strength they need in Ruby's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Smiths are staying at the Ronald McDonald House until their babies are ready to go home.
"You have to be back-and-forth, back-and-forth, during shift change and come here, and you don't have to worry about your food being cooked or anything like that, you just kind of grab and go," said Kendall.
"Everybody here, they all treat you like family, everybody pitches in to help," said Stacy.
"And you make friends, tons of friends," said Kendall.
The Ronald McDonald House is partnered nationally with Thirty One gifts, whose representatives raise the funds for the meals in a number of ways.
"There are certain items that we sell that directly go towards to Ronald McDonald House, the funds from that. There are parties that we hold where we give up our commission," said Seiler.
Those efforts can go a long way, as families can keep digging in for more.
"Not only do families come in here to sleep, during the day, families that don't get a sleeping room will come over. A lot of families will come and have it again for lunch the next day," said Katie Wentz, development director at the Ronald McDonald House.
For Seiler, giving back is just something that comes naturally to a mother such as herself.
"Now that I have my son, I can't imagine what I would do," said Seiler.
For more information about the Ronald McDonald House of Morgantown, visit its website.