Merry Meal coordinator Sue Gannaway accepts the President’s Volunteer Service Award at the Forsyth County Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards Breakfast!
After being presented with the Merry Meal concept in January of 2012 (twice-monthly potluck style dinners for families at the house, provided by other House volunteers and community members), this outstanding volunteer jumped in and has essentially built this program from scratch! In her role as coordinator, Sue plans the meal and solicits participants through word of mouth, flyers, and regular emails, which is often done on her own time. Then, on Merry Meal evenings, Sue will often purchase a portion of the main dish, and then come early to set up the meal and prepare all the dishes to be served, before staying to serve and clean-up.
With Sue’s direction, the Merry Meal program has been a special component in our House. Her leadership creates a hospitable atmosphere in the House on Monday evenings, as tired families often take time out of their days at the Hospital to eat dinner.
In February of 2013, Sue reached 350 service hours with us at the Family House. Over 15 months, Sue has coordinated and supervised over 30 meals for guests at the Family House, with about 10 volunteers participating in each meal. The Merry Meals create an opportunity for individuals who cannot commit to a formal House shift, but still want to get more involved and familiar with the Family House, so we are thrilled that Sue can provide such a simple and organized way to participate!
One delighted family wrote this thank you note after a Merry Meal:
“Thank you so very much for the meal you provided–it gives a little normalcy to an otherwise crazy day–it is so nice to sit and eat a warm meal after sitting at the hospital all day.”