They call the Ronald McDonald House a "home away from home." For the families that stay there, the Ronald McDonald House gives them fewer things to think about during a tough time.
In its new home on E. Genesee Street, families enjoyed a Christmas dinner made by volunteers on Tuesday. Jamie Breneman, who once lived in the Ronald McDonald herself, led the preparations for the third straight year. While she made the turkey, stuffing and other holiday fixings, she commented on how she was trying to make food that reminded families of home.
"We have turkey and ham and mashed potatoes and stuffing," Breneman says. "All those comfort kinds of things you think of for the holiday."
One family could not help but express their gratitude for not only the Christmas dinner, but for the help given by the Ronald McDonald House since they arrived.
Seven weeks ago, Gary Staiger and his family had to rush to Syracuse from their hometown in Binghamton after his wife's triplets came early. The three boys, Michael, Mathew and Joseph are currently at the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Crouse Hospital. Gary Staiger says the Ronald McDonald House made a difficult time a lot easier.
"The whole situation came upon us as a big surprise," Staiger says. "We were kind of in stress mode, immediately Ronald McDonald House stepped it up, gave us a place to live, and just a home away from home."