MINNEAPOLIS - It was just a small thing, serve a meal to families who have a child who is staying in the hospital. On Saturday evening I joined a group of St. Cloud area residents and did just that at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis.

Kevin Crowley and Jim Maurice, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

The Tanner's Team Foundation - a non-profit organization based out of Sauk Rapids - serves a meal at the Ronald McDonald house once every quarter throughout the year.  I've been on their Board of Directors since November.

Tanner's Team founders, Jon and Cindy Fuls, stayed at the house a few years ago when their son Tanner was going through treatment for cancer, and it's a facility that's become very near and dear to them.

It was my first visit to any Ronald McDonald House. During a quick tour of the facility, I found out they have a small movie theater, an indoors basketball court, and they even have a classroom for kids who have a sibling going through treatment.

On Saturday afternoon we arrived at the house and started baking, chopping, frying and prepping the food.  Tanner's Team is known for their famous baked potato bar.  Serving of the meal starts at 6:00 p.m. and runs until about 7:30 p.m.

Any family staying at the house is welcome to come for the free meal. The Ronald McDonald House has room for up to 40 families. Staff say there's always a long waiting list to get in.  There's no stay limit with some families staying a few months, and some have stayed over a year.  The one requirement is that families do have to live more than 60 miles from Minneapolis.

The Ronald McDonald House offers up the evening meal seven days a week, thanks to generous volunteer organizations.  If you'd like to sign up for a day, check out their information online.