MILWAUKEE -- There was a special Christmas meal Monday, December 25th at Kathy's House in Milwaukee -- for those far from home. Volunteers came together to serve patients receiving treatment at Milwaukee-area hospitals and their families, and their effort was a family affair.
Kathy's House is a facility for families of patients getting long-term treatment at Milwaukee-area hospitals. 45 percent of guests are patients themselves, and 55 percent have a loved one who is inpatient at a Milwaukee-area hospital. The guests are mostly from Wisconsin living at least 40 miles outside of the Milwaukee area.
Typically, guests cook for themselves, but because it was Christmas and no one would be staying at Kathy's House if they had a choice, the food was taken care of for them.
FOX6 met a family from Appleton staying at Kathy's House near Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
"I love the people that work here. They are so generous and loving and caring," Karla Josephs said. "When she was telling me her meal I'm like 'oh my goodness!' We're going to have turkey, ham and you name it. It's all out there -- so it's kind of exciting because we're not home, so it's nice to get a meal like that," Karla Josephs said.
Josephs' husband, Mike, is battling leukemia and he had a bone marrow transplant a month ago. Since then, Kathy's House has been their home away from home.
"For a lot of us, we had to stop working to care for loved one that is going through so much -- chemo and everything else," Josephs said.
The food was made by Lois Knight, a 76-year-old volunteer and her grandchildren. Cooking for more than 50 is something they've done for 7 years. She and her family will celebrate Christmas on New Year's Day.
"They are just so sick of hospital food. To make a homemade meal is nothing, and they are so grateful for that meal. It's a special day for them," Knight said.
"It means so much to us. We wouldn't have a Christmas if it wasn't for her," Josephs said.
Knight said there is so much more to the meal than what goes in the oven.
"Without Jesus, there is no Christmas. Without Christmas, they have very little hope," Knight said.
Kathy's House is open 365 days per year for out-of-area patients and their families receiving medical care in Milwaukee. CLICK HERE to learn more.