reflections, book ideas, and instructions from the Big-Hearted Families program of

Assemble Breakfast Bags

Create a tangible, practical gift.

Have fun sorting items into breakfast bags to donate to a Ronald McDonald House. Families staying there can grab one on their way to the hospital or clinic in the morning.

Possible Recipients

Those staying at a Ronald McDonald House, which provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment.

What you’ll need

  • Plain brown paper bags
  • A few breakfast items, such as:

o Breakfast bars
o Bagels
o Yogurt
o Fruit cups
o Juice boxes

  • Art supplies such as markers, crayons or stickers


  • Call your local Ronald McDonald House to see if they can use breakfast bags. If so, ask what specific items to include and to arrange a delivery time. Also ask if you can have a tour. Ronald McDonald House locations are listed at the Ronald McDonald House Charities website.
  • Decorate the bags before filling.
  • Sort breakfast items in the bags.


  • How do you think you would feel if you or someone you love was very sick and had to spend many days at the hospital?
  • What kinds of things would make this easier for families?
  • Do you think it helps people get through a tough day if they get good food to start their day?
  • Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, even frightening, to be around a person who is sick or in the hospital. Why is that? What can we do about it?
  • Do you know anyone who is sick and could use some assistance or cheering up?


  • When Molly Was in the Hospital by Debbie Duncan (Rayve Production Inc., 1994). Baby-preschool. A story about a girl whose younger sister is ill. This book brings up many issues and fears that siblings may have about their experience with a sick family member.
  • Curious George Goes to the Hospital by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey (HMH Books, 1966). Ages 4-8. This tale, about a monkey who needs an operation because he ate a puzzle piece, can help ease tensions about going to the hospital.

Take it further

  • If it’s okay with your local Ronald McDonald House, add snacks like small prepackaged bags of nuts, trail mix or dried fruit that the recipients can use later in the day.
  • Make homemade “Cheer” or “Smile” cards or notes to insert into the bag.

*Cost can vary greatly on some projects depending on the way you approach them. Consider asking friends and neighbors to “sponsor” your effort if you get excited about a project that may be out of your price range. You might end up with a big-hearted community at your side!

Back to Pick A Project...


Still looking?

Read together and practice compassion with the power of story!