Cooking, caring for local charities

by Susan Melnyk
contributing writer

Your cooking and baked goods have the ability to warm more than just your

family and friends’ hearts this holiday season, with several local organizations requesting your culinary skills to brighten the day for those in need in our


The Landstuhl Fisher Houses provide temporary housing for family members of loved ones being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Rooms and meals are provided by volunteer donations and the staff at the houses have made it incredibly easy to get involved. Visit or e-mail and request to be added to the “Meal Train.” The Meal Train program allows you to choose the date and meal that is most convenient for you and become a part of the community supporting the Fisher Houses.

“There are 10 rooms in one Fisher House and 11 rooms in the other. We ask that you give us a quick call 24 hours ahead of time to find out exactly how many people will be at the houses and to confirm that you are bringing a meal on your chosen date,” said Danyel Burgett, Fisher House meals coordinator.

Volunteer cooks are welcome to either cook the dish from home and drop it off, or come by the Fisher House and cook and serve it there, Burgett said.

Potluck style dishes such as salads, stews, casseroles and tacos are the perfect way to feed the whole house.

Getting a small group of people together to each make a dish for the houses might just be the perfect kickoff to the holiday season. A home-cooked meal can make a lasting difference when caring for a loved one in the hospital, and the Fisher Houses are the perfect reason to break out those comfort food recipes.

If you find that baking is more your pace, there are several places to put those cookies to good use. The Ramstein PAX Terminal, operated by the United Service Organizations, is looking for cookie and fruit donations as well as sandwiches for service members on weekends. E-mail for more information.

The Ramstein Officers’ Spouses Club is holding its annual Cookies for Troops program to provide cookies for service members in the Ramstein and Vogelweh dorms who may be away from their families during the holidays.

Homemade cookies can be dropped off at the Ramstein Officers’ Club between

7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

“We’ll be providing a drive-through service during those hours to make it even easier to drop off your cookies,” said Nancy Banik, ROSC publicity chairwoman.

Bakers are also welcome to stay and assist in packing the cookies into bags decorated by children from Ramstein Elementary School. 

Learn more about the program by visiting or e-mailing

If you find your baking skills lacking, the ROSC is also requesting donations of small candy canes that will be handed out by Santa to children at the

Kaiserslautern Christmas Market Thursday. Donations can be made to the ROSC until Tuesday.