Students Buy Groceries, Prepare Food, and Serve Dinner to Families at the Ronald McDonald House
Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities to serve dinner to families staying at the Denver Ronald McDonald House (http://ronaldhouse.org/). The 20 students brought eggs, sausage, fruit, juice, and ingredients to make french toast bake. The students met at the Ronald McDonald House in the early evening and used the facility’s kitchen to prepare the meal together. Students served breakfast for dinner and engaged in conversation with the families.
Ronald McDonald House Charities began when Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill and his wife endured the complications of having a daughter with Leukemia in the hospital. Ultimately, the Philadelphia Eagles, local McDonald’s owners, and a pediatric oncologist came together to pursue a dream to provide housing and meals to enable families to remain by their hospitalized child’s side. The first McDonald House opened October 15, 1974. Today, more than ten million families have stayed at over 250 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide.
Ronald McDonald Houses focus on providing low-cost housing to out-of-town mothers and fathers needing to be near their hospitalized children. Denver College of Nursing students align themselves in support of the Ronald McDonald mission to create a world where children have access to quality health care and their families are able to better comfort and support them while actively participating in their care.
Students were delighted to make the dinner a joyful and fun evening for families facing medical struggles and heartbreak. The meal serves up to 70 people in a community area of the Ronald McDonald dining room. Many students attend many Ronald McDonald dinner events throughout being in nursing school. DCN student, Priscilla Mckay, says “We see many of the same patients and families over and over again. I enjoy connecting with them every few weeks to months.” Another student, Sarah Burton, adds that she believes it is important for the community to see nursing students devoting their time to charities and caring for patients outside of the hospital.
Denver College of Nursing student, Maggie O’Keefe, organizes and leads fellow students in approximately one Ronald McDonald volunteer event per month. Of the families she meets, O’Keefe says, “They spend their days talking to doctors, at their child's bedside, and hoping for miracles. If I can help make their lives a little better by feeding them a good meal and providing conversation that doesn't involve diagnoses, medications, and charts, then I feel I've done my part.”