During a holiday weekend when they could have been relaxing, 20 students from Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York City used the time to grocery shop, cook and serve lunch to young patients undergoing treatment for cancer and their families who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
“This is the second year we have done a Ronald McDonald House meal,” Cheryl Fondacaro, vice president of the PBISN Student Government Organization, said in a news release.Phillips Beth Israel student nurses, from left, Sadaf Kumandan, Steven Korkowski, Sarah Christian, Carlin Longley and Angela Forte, chop and peel in the kitchen of Ronald McDonald House.
Katherine Adler, SGO president, made initial contact with the house last year and organized a dinner. “It was so successful we decided to do it again,” she said. “We actually had many more volunteers respond than the House would allow — a great testament to the character of our fellow students.”
The student volunteers included Adler, Margarita Aksakalova, Kate Blanke, Melissa Brito, Sarah Christian, Cheryl Fondacaro, Angela Forte, Leslie Fray, Esther Gilles, Tammy Hasan, Wells Holleran, Steven Korkowski, Carlin Longley, Sadaf Kumandan, Graham MacDonald, Joaimee Nagtalon, Jeanmarie Picone, Alyshia Remtula, Elena Reyes and Kristina Wang.
“We prepared meat lasagna and macaroni and cheese with broccoli because we knew those would be popular with kids,” Fondacaro said. They also served bread, a green salad with dressing, fruit salad, multiple desserts, bottled water and fruit juices.After shopping and preparing lunch for more than 80 families at Ronald McDonald House are Phillips Beth Israel student nurses, from left, Joaimee Nagtalon, Jeanmarie Picone and Elena Reyes.
One mother of a young patient came up to a student and said, “The food was so good, he ate the whole plate! That never happens.”
Expenses for the project were paid for by donations, SGO fees and fundraising events held throughout the year. “We try things — whatever works, including sales of T-shirts designed by a student, a bake sale and a hula-hooping class,” Fondacaro said.