COMMUNITY & SERVICE College boys help out in the neighbourhood
Flower’s House boys enjoy a long-standing relationship with Ronald McDonald House and this year the bonds have become even stronger. Thanks to the Flower’s House boys, Ronald McDonald House patients, their siblings and families now have four scooters and a balance bike to play on. “When the Ronald McDonald House manager discovered the kids were short of toys like scooters and bikes, our boys decided to own the problem and be proactive about it,” Flower’s Deputy Housemaster Monique Ellis-Martin says. “Instead of taking the easy option and asking their parents for money for a quick fix, the boys raised their own funds by running a sausage sizzle at school in Term 1. They cooked and sold sausages to the boys and staff at College and made a significant sum of money.” The scooters were delivered by a group of boys on one of their regular weekly visits. “It was lovely to see one of the toddlers riding around the lounge on one of the gifted scooters.” Each week, four Year 9–10 boys help at Ronald McDonald House from 6.45–8pm. “There’s no roster these days. I just ask, and there’s never a shortage of volunteers. “Their time is greatly appreciated, and they do a lot of good things
down there, including manual work, such as helping around the property by raking up leaves, tidying toys, cleaning, moving things, filling envelopes, or by taking up a more empathic role such as playing with kids and making food. The boys never know what tasks they will be doing, but each week hands go up wanting to go down and help out.” Monique says the relationship is now at the point that Ronald McDonald staff email if the boys can help in other ways. “For example, we had a group of boys help with moving furniture a while back. And Ronald McDonald kindly gave us a foosball table when they had too many and no space for it,” she says. Monique says the best thing she has seen this year is a Year 13 boy volunteering to be part of the group
to Ronald McDonald because of knowing one of the patients. “The smile on the little boy’s face when he saw a familiar, friendly face was so lovely to see. The boys just played for an hour, and it gave his parents some time to take stock of the day,” Monique says. The experience of giving service to Ronald McDonald House opens the boys’ eyes to the struggle some families are enduring. Having a sick child affects everyone in a family, and while some children are too sick to play, their siblings are very grateful to be able to kick a ball around with the boys, or play a board game. Flower’s Housemaster Lionel Randall says he is incredibly proud of the boys for their work at Ronald McDonald House.
Christ’s College Canterbury
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