February 12, 2019
On February 12th, a group of lower school children, their parents, and two high school juniors travelled to the Ronald McDonald house near Scottish Rite in Sandy Springs as the culmination of a 5 week long Lower School Enrichment class focused on service.
Ten lower school children participated in the enrichment class led by Development Associate Mitzi Ritchie, Lower School Teacher's Assistant Candy Stirling, and juniors Aubrey DeAugustinis and Lizzy Stainback. Every Tuesday, the children gathered after school and made blankets, snack bags, and hygiene kits which would eventually be donated to the local Ronald McDonald House. They also participated in the Pop Tab Program, a program run by the Ronald McDonald House that collects the pop tabs from aluminum cans and recycles them. All the proceeds go to support the annual operating budget of the Ronald McDonald House.
The Ronald McDonald House exists to support families that have a child receiving care at hospitals such as Scottish Rite, but live too far away to travel back and forth every day. The house gives the family the opportunity to stay close to their hospitalized child while receiving meaningful help such as cooked meals and activities for the rest of the family. The goal is to create a sense of normalcy and support during an extremely difficult time in that families life.
Stainback and DeAugustinis spend a significant amount of time at the Ronald McDonald House as both interned there over the summer and are members of the Teen Council. The goal of the Teen Council is to fundraise and create awareness for the charity and its mission. Stainback reflected on the organization saying, “I love the house and organization and what it represents. My favorite part is the kids, watching them smile makes it all worth it. When I was interning there over the summer, I got the chance to interact with a lot of kids and their families. You would be surprised at how happy they always are despite the circumstances. They are truly more of an inspiration to you than you are to them, although they’ll tell you differently.” DeAugustinis echoed this saying, “I love that when we serve there, we always get to see the families that are staying there. It’s really special that we can have a direct impact on the families, like seeing their smiling faces when we come to make breakfast.”
Both juniors enjoyed working with the lower school children saying, “I think it’s so cool that this group of kids is learning about this cause so early on. I am really excited about this program, and I can’t wait to see where this leads us in the future. It was also awesome to answer all their questions and to see how interested they were. They were so excited to have the opportunity to help others”.
While the children were working on their projects, the parents were also given the opportunity to tour the Ronald McDonald house. Many remarked on the thoughtfulness behind every element of the home and were in amazement on the impact the class had on their children. A few remarked how their children were asking questions about how they could continue serving the charity when they got home.
If you are interested in learning more about the Ronald McDonald House charity or how to serve, visit their website here https://armhc.org/