By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Just days before Christmas, families of patients undergoing organ transplants in Philadelphia were getting some special holiday meals to help ease their difficult days.

Today, at the Gift of Life Family House, at 4th and Callowhill Streets, officials of the Omni Hotel near Independence Mall took off their suit jackets and donned aprons to deliver a gourmet holiday meal for the grateful families.

“You know, it makes me feel good around this holiday season — it’s the least we can do during these hard times for these families,” says Omni’s director of sales, Christopher Laufer (at right in photo below).

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(John Green of the Gift of Life Family House and Christopher Laufer of the Omni Hotel on Chestnut Street. Credit: Michelle Durham)


Gift of Life development director Sara Cohen says they welcome all help.

“Anyone can come in and cook meals,” she says.  “People can go right on our web site, www.giftoflifefamilyhouse.org. Click on our ‘Homecooked Heroes’ page, and all the information is right on there.”

John Green, director of community relations for Gift of Life, explains the concept of the Family House.

“The Gift of Life Family House is a house just for transplant families who come to Philadelphia either to get evaluated for transplant or to go through the transplant program.”

That allows patients to have family members nearby during their ordeal.