Providing Meals and Comfort to Ronald McDonald House Families

Jun 15, 2018 12:00 PM ET

Throughout the fall and winter, Astellas sponsored a total of 62 Changing Tomorrow Day volunteer events for field-based employees across the United States to unite and support families staying at Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH) to be near their hospitalized children. Many of the volunteers cooked meals from scratch to provide comfort and nutrition to the patients’ families, while other teams helped clean the houses to meet the needs of each RMH chapter.

This is the third year that Astellas has coordinated the volunteer program to support Ronald McDonald Houses. In FY17 alone, employees helped prepare more than 2,600 homemade meals. In addition to the volunteer hours, Astellas donated $500 to each house where employees volunteered, totaling $28,500 in donations.

In total since 2015, field-based employees have prepared 8,300 meals for patients’ families across 105 Ronald McDonald Houses. Astellas has donated more than $153,000 to these houses where employees volunteered.

One of the unique benefits of the Ronald McDonald House program is that it offers field-based, community-oriented Astellas employees the opportunity to lead a local Changing Tomorrow Day activity in their area. Employees sign up to lead the event and are responsible for scheduling the date, recruiting team members to participate, purchasing the meal supplies and leading the team in preparing and serving the meal. The events serve to not only support local communities with a focus on patients and their caregivers, but bring teams closer together that may not see each other often.

Participant feedback is overwhelmingly positive and more than half of the leaders sign up to lead again each year.

“It is rewarding to help people in need in this way, particularly during the holidays,” said Sam Weber, professional representative I, PCP & Specialty, who was part of a cross-functional team to prepare a hearty meal for the guests of the Portland RMH, for the third consecutive year. “The guests were so appreciative, and the RMH staff was so impressed that Astellas encourages similar community service opportunities across the country.”  

“Our Meals from the Heart program offers an amazing opportunity for our community to come together and create a meal for families so that they can focus solely on the well-being of their hospitalized child,” says Lisa Mitchell, Vice President, Programs and Services, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana. “We are so grateful for the wonderful partnership with Astellas whose employees have generously donated their time, money and culinary skills to help families for the past three years. Through their compassion and support, the Astellas team has relieved hundreds of families from the burden of preparing a meal and has given them time to relax and regroup so they are refreshed for their child.”

Living SMART™ is the Astellas approach to preparing communities today for what can happen tomorrow. The Living SMART framework brings together the strength of the charitable Astellas USA Foundation and our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work to find the areas where we can make the most impact to improve lives. Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas CSR collaborate to create a positive impact on society through three overarching focus areas: health and well-being; Science WoRx (STEM education); and disaster response. To read more about Living SMART, see the Astellas Americas Corporate Social Responsibility Report Card.