‘It just makes you feel good:’ Volunteers from Orange County school help feed families at Ronald McDonald House

Group volunteered to prepare meals in the Share-A-Meal program

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Teachers and students from the Waterford Elementary student council are making sure families at Ronald McDonald House are feeling a little extra love with some home-cooked meals. The group volunteered to prepare meals in the Share-A-Meal program. Second-grade teacher John Guignet said it’s important for young students to know the power of kindness.

“It just makes you feel good. It’s that feel-good feeling and showing young children what the community has to offer. And the impact it has not only on the patients but on the family is an incredible feeling,” said Guignet. “And everyone was just very nurturing to each other, so it’s like when you give back to other people you’re noticed and they see that and that’s just part of spreading kindness.”

Jarrod Daab is the Chief Development Officer for Ronald McDonald House. He says at the three houses in Central Florida, the need ranges from 15-30 meals each night. He said volunteering for the Share-A-Meal program typically slows down this time of year.

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“So that is dinner every single night and we do not take a day off. So you just do the math on that, you’re looking at about 1,100 meals a year that we have to fulfill that the community comes in here to support,” Daab said. “They have the stress of dealing with a critically ill child that’s being treated literally right next door at Arnold Palmer Hospital, and we are trying to take as much off their shoulders as possible. And something as simple as a meal for them, you know they might not even be thinking about eating or eating out of vending machines, and or just what’s in front of them. This way, they’re able to walk right next door to us here and get a home-cooked meal and have it prepared for them. It’s such a weight off their shoulders and it keeps them healthy and active for their child and making sure they’re there for their medical decisions.”

Volunteers are needed Monday through Sunday from 4-6:00 p.m. and are limited to groups of five or fewer. If you’d like to volunteer for Share-A-Meal, sign up here.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.