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Community service trip to Ronald McDonald House

Group of people in aprons in a kitchen

At NewChurch LIVE, we are deeply committed to community service. We believe that by serving others you get to experience faith in action. We hope you will join us in one of our favorite recurring events – making dinner at Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House supports families who have a child receiving treatment at either St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital or The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). These families are often going through extreme challenges, needing to go back and forth to the hospitals regularly, while still trying to manage the many expectations of their regular life. Through volunteer groups, The Ronald McDonald House helps ease this burden by providing dinner every night of the week. This small, simple gesture is a wonderful way to support families and allow them to focus on their child instead of planning, shopping for, and preparing dinner. 

When you join this community service outing you will make and serve dinner, and then clean up when dinner is complete. We will do all the shopping, menu prep, coordination, and transportation.

NewChurch LIVE will plan the menu and purchase food prior to the trip. Our “go to” meal is fajitas. The reason we choose this dish is so that people with all different cooking backgrounds can help out. It’s very easy to make and we have never had a problem with lack of cooking experience prohibiting anyone from serving. So we encourage you to sign up even if you aren’t a master chef in the kitchen.

When you sign up there are 2 options for transportation:

  • Drive yourself and meet the group at the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Meet at the office and caravan down together (preferred). It is always helpful to have people volunteer to drive in case there are folks who could use a ride. We also need someone to transport the food.

There are 2 Ronald McDonald Houses in Philadelphia where we make dinner. A trip organizer will tell you ahead of time which house you will be serving:

  • Chestnut Street House, supporting CHOP (serving dinner to 125 people), 3925 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Front and Erie House, Supporting St. Christopher’s Hospital (serving dinner to 50 people), 100 East Erie Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19134
  • For Chestnut Street House, there is a parking garage located directly below the house. You enter through the rear of the building.
  • For Front and Erie House, there is a parking lot dedicated to Ronald McDonald House right in front of the house. You enter through a gate and there are plenty of parking spots available.

You can expect the trip to span roughly 3pm-8pm, including travel time. The group traveling together will meet at the NCL Office at 3pm to gather all of the food, load up cars and caravan together. Volunteers traveling independently should arrive at the Ronald McDonald House by 4pm to ensure there is enough time to prepare dinner before it is served at 6pm.

Once all the guests at the house have finished eating, they ask that we put away all the food, put together a handful of “to-go dinners,” and clean up the kitchen. Volunteers are usually back to the office by 8pm.

Volunteers are encouraged to eat with the families. There is plenty of food for all and this is often a highlight for volunteers.