General Vanier students spread holiday cheer and learn life lessons at Manoir Ronald McDonald

Montreal - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be healthy and at home with their family during the holiday season. On December 17, Grade 5 and 6 students from General Vanier (GV) Elementary School in St. Léonard had the opportunity to lighten the lives of the residents of Manoir Ronald McDonald, who are far from home and in need of some tender loving care and a home-cooked meal.

Manoir Ronald McDonald is a welcoming, tranquil 50-room location that houses families that live a minimum of 55 km away while their child receives medical attention at Montreal hospitals. Residents are served breakfast however they must shop for and cook their own lunches and dinners. When volunteers provide meals, it gives them a budgetary break and respite, with one less meal to worry about.

So, when ten students, seven parent volunteers and one staff member from GV arrive with food in tow, and prepare and serve lunch, it is greatly appreciated. The GV team raised $350 throughout the year with which they purchased food for the meal. The rest, including pasta, meatballs and desserts, were donated by L’intermarché (Viau) and Patisserie Alati Caserta. Students helped prepare, plate, serve and clean up. They also manned an arts and crafts table, and learned important lessons as they greeted families with care and respect. 

Parent Frank Marra sees this activity as a great way for kids to give back. “They really get the feeling of helping out and realize exactly what we are doing here,” he said. “They don’t take what they have for granted.” 

Grade 6 students Eva Marra and Anthony Lo Bianco Trudeau echo Frank’s thoughts. “It brings a smile to my face to help because these parents have a tough time. It is emotional for them. I am grateful to my parents for keeping me healthy,” said Eva.

Anthony shared: “I feel grateful. I am lucky. A lot of people don’t have what we have and I’m trying to make it a good day for the residents. I am thankful for everything my parents do for me and thank God for my healthy body.”

This multipurpose event warmed many bellies and hearts, setting a meaningful tone for the holidays. And the gift will keep on giving - the Manoir staff save the leftovers so the meal can continue to be enjoyed!

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