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Michelle Hart \ Ronald McDonald House

Class 2016: A Class with 'Hart'

Melissa HartAs Philanthropy Chair of Nova Southeastern University's Physician Assistant Student Government Association in Orlando, Florida I was determined to organize a plethora of events our students would enjoy participating in over the course of our program. Our class is special because we are dedicated to becoming not only successful PAs but also are enthusiastic about giving back to our community. I have never been a part of such a wonderful group of people who are willing to contribute several hours out of their day, even while studying a tortuous amount of difficult material, just to service their community.

After spending countless hours on end searching for the most meaningful becoming not only successful PAs but also are enthusiastic about giving back to our community. I have never been a part of such a wonderful group of people who are willing to contribute several hours out of their day, even while studying a tortuous amount of difficult material, just to service their community.

Our Physician Assistant class would always become involved in our community. I remember one of the most valuable events I participated in during my undergraduate career at The University of Florida. Every couple of weeks a group of students would get together and go grocery shopping in order to prepare a meal for the residents at local Ronald McDonald Houses in Gainesville, FL. We cooked anything from Mexican to Italian and always had fun while doing it.

Many students love to give back, and most of the time they don’t even have to know why they are dedicating their precious time as long as they know that it is for a good cause. As a volunteer at any Ronald McDonald House, you may request a tour of the facility in which enables you to see the rooms of the house as well as the resources that family members have access to. In addition, your tour guide will usually give you a synapsis of what the Ronald McDonald House does to help families in need as well as answer any questions that you may be pondering. So what do Ronald McDonald Houses do?

Courtesy of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, Inc.Countless families travel far from home and spend several weeks to months to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. A Ronald McDonald House is recognized as a home away from home for families so they can stay close to their hospitalized child at little or no cost. Some houses ask for a one-time donation of as little as $20 but do not require any monetary support whatsoever. These houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. Providing a family with these simple necessities allows them to shower their child with love and support during their time of illness.

As physician assistant students at Nova Southeastern University Orlando, we strive to better the health of our community. Well known for altruism, empathy and philanthropy, several students jumped at the opportunity to lend a helping hand when I first announced the availability to volunteer at a local Ronald McDonald House. So far this semester a handful of us devoted a few hours of our time by preparing two meals for the two Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando, Florida. Together we donated, prepared and served delicious and nutritious dinners for the residents of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center and Florida Hospital Ronald McDonald Houses and have many more dinners scheduled to prepare! The appreciation displayed by the houses occupants as well as the staff filled our hearts with satisfaction and reminded us as to why it is so important to give back to the community you live in.

With 337 Ronald McDonald Houses located in 35 countries, (176 of those houses are located in the United States), participating in Share-A-Meal events at your local Ronald McDonald House is easy and fun. If you are interested in volunteering, stop by your local Ronald McDonald House or visit their website to schedule your next Share-A-Meal event.

Photo of Ronald McDonald House provided by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, Inc.

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