Ronald McDonald House Volunteer
The Hernandez Family
By RMHC–HI Staff
On the last Sunday of every month at our Judd Hillside Ronald McDonald House, you will smell the sweet aroma of a savory home–cooked meal sponsored by the Hernandez Family. Sal Hernandez, an active duty member for the National Guard, and his wife Leslie have been cooking at the House since March. They have also recruited their fellow church members at Pacific Revival Center to join them.
But Sal and Leslie have actually been active with Hawaii’s Ronald McDonald House for nearly three years. They first came up to House to spread the cheer of Christmas through caroling on December 24, 2006. Later that evening, they got a nice surprise. “I remember that Christmas Eve very well,” Sal says. “It was the evening that Leslie gave birth to our son, Joshua.”
Since then, Sal, his family, and church members have come up to the House every December to share the Christmas spirit with families. Earlier this year, Sal and Leslie realized that they wanted to have other volunteer opportunities at the Ronald McDonald House, and they decided to encourage others to join them in the Ronald McDonald House’s traditional Sunday dinner program.
“Having us here to cook for the families is great,” says Sal. “I love it; my wife loves it; and so do the members from our church.” He says they welcome the chance each month to visit with the families. “We see some familiar faces and some new faces each time we come. During dinner time, we get to share good fellowship and listen to their incredible stories. We are humbled by what the families share with us at the table.”
The Hernandez family and friends find so much personal value in their visits that they say they would like to do even more in the future. “Our goal in 2010 is to sponsor two dinners a month,” Sal says. “And of course, Christmas Eve!” This year Sal and his group will be hosting a toy and food drive for Ronald McDonald House and will be dropping off the donations on Christmas Eve.