Article by: Diane O'Connor

Ronald McDonald House Charities was looking for volunteers to support at the family room they have set up in Wollongong hospital and I thought why not use my CGI CSR day to contribute to this very worthy cause.

Diane with cup cakes

The room is for young patients and their families to take a break from the wards and the hospital routine. It’s tough for parents to look after young children as well as themselves during their child’s hospitalization and the volunteers help by making cups of tea and coffee, entertaining the kids and making sweet and savoury treats. It also gives parents some respite and an opportunity to talk to others.

I love cooking, so I did some research and created a meal plan of treats that were kid friendly and freezable. This allows families to reheat the food at a time that suits them. Some hospital days can be quite long and meals are sometimes skipped. It was a day full of cooking as everything had to be made from scratch on site with an ingredient list needing to be provided to ensure there are no issues with allergies. It was so rewarding to see such lovely smiles as the food was eaten and there were lots of leftovers that went into the freezer for future meals, meaning the efforts of the volunteer day will last into the next week. I was not allowed to take photos of the families but I can assure you that they were really happy and it helped put a bright spot in their day.

Volunteers don’t have to cook. They can make cups of tea and coffee or spend quality time with the parents and children to offer them a distraction. If you are looking for an idea for your CSR day I would recommend Ronald McDonald House Charities. Thank you CGI for allowing me to contribute to such a great cause!

Diane making cup cakes
Food items made by diane
Food items made by diane
Salad made by Diane