The pressure is on Vickie Harlow. She has a lot of mouths to feed on Thanksgiving, and can use all the help she can get peeling and chopping to ensure dinner's served on-time.
But Harlow isn't working in her kitchen. She's in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald House, where the Burlington grandmother has been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 10 Thanksgivings now. "I just can't tell you how special this place is. It's a haven," she beams.
The non-profit provides families of hospital patients a place to stay while their seriously ill children undergo treatment. It takes more than 250 volunteers to keep this place running 24/7 all year long. The house is thankful this holiday for people like Vickie Harlow.
House director Pam Fenimore says, "She makes them feel this is their home away from home during the Thanksgiving time when they can't be home with loved ones. They have to be here because their child requires some medical treatment at Fletcher Allen."
The quiet and patient chef volunteers at the Ronald McDonald house all year long. She and her family will serve Thanksgiving dinner to at least three other families, and enjoy the meal with them. It may not be a traditional Thanksgiving, but Harlow says it's better. "We're all one big family," she says.
When they all sit down to savor the results of hours of hard work, it's a reminder of the things to be most thankful for: family, friends, community, health, and kindness. "That's what Thanksgiving is all about," says Harlow.
And Vickie Harlow wouldn't spend the holiday anyplace else. "I just love it here," she smiles.
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:43 PM EST2013-12-08 01:43:53 GMT
Police in New Hampshire are investigating an accident on Interstate 89 that claimed two lives. It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon. The initial investigation revealedMore >>
It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:38 PM EST2013-12-08 01:38:15 GMT
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork. Emily Lyman died of Leukemia at just fifteen years old, in December of last year. Now, her mother, Monica Lyman, is holdingMore >>
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM EST2013-12-08 01:17:57 GMT
There's still plenty of time to check off gifts on that Christmas list. The 21st Annual Vermont International Festival has something for everyone. The event began at the Champlain Valley Exposition asMore >>
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Saturday, December 7 2013 8:11 PM EST2013-12-08 01:11:52 GMT
It's out with the old and in with the new. A new ice skating rink in Stowe has replaced the old Jackson Arena. Saturday, the town welcomed skaters to take a spin on the ice at the new arena's grand opening. TheMore >>
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Saturday, December 7 2013 8:05 PM EST2013-12-08 01:05:37 GMT
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We have some ideas for what you can do on this Sunday, December 8, 2013.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-08 01:00:24 GMT
Police are looking for this man who they say fulfilled his holiday wish list by taking what he wanted - and going on his merry way without paying. The surveillance video shows the suspect stealing expensiveMore >>
Police are looking for a man who they say fulfilled his holiday wish list by taking what he wanted.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:54 PM EST2013-12-08 00:54:07 GMT
Turning a car dealership into a venue to adopt cats and dogs. The adoption event - at the Subaru Dealership in South Burlington - was put on with help from the American Society for the Prevention of CrueltyMore >>
Animals from the Humane Society of Chittenden County found new homes on Saturday.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 PM EST2013-12-08 00:49:03 GMT
Sue Boucher and her family have made "A Very Merry Middlebury" their family tradition. "We've been coming down for probably 10 years now," says Sue Boucher of South Burlington. A Very Merry MiddleburyMore >>
Put together by the Better Middlebury Partnership - to promote a fun and booming Middlebury.More >>