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Cooking with a Purpose

Cooking with a Purpose

Team JIFFY in the RMH London Kitchen

After a friend of the family’s baby underwent major surgery twelve hours following birth, Karen realized what families go through to stay by their sick child’s side. When visiting her friend who had been in the Sick Kids for several months with Julianne, Karen realized she wanted to do something to help families with sick children in London.

They began baking at Ronald McDonald House every month which soon turned into weekly baking, and cooking dinners every so often at The House. Every week since, the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House London are treated to delicious meals and baked goods by Karen and Team JIFFY. Team JIFFY stands for ‘Julianne’s Inspired Friends Feeding You’ and includes Julianne’s Grandma and Grandpa, as well as close family friends and neighbours.

Most of the families wouldn’t take time to eat if we didn’t make something for them. You aren’t just preparing a meal -you’re here for the families in many more ways than just one

explains Karen. Team Jiffy has become a part of the Ronald McDonald House Family, and have helped to provide both comfort and nourishment to families staying at Ronald McDonald House.

Is there something you find “amazing” about Ronald McDonald House?

The thing that I like about volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House is that they let you play your strong suit. I took a Safe Food Handling Course with the House that allows me to go into the kitchen and cook comfortably. I tend to be enthusiastic and encourage others just to come and try cooking with Team JIFFY. Lots of team members have improved their cooking skills and learned a lot. Each person here has a passion to volunteer and a different skillset. I know my position is the right fit; it is a lot of fun!

Can you remember any interactions with families that left an impression on you?

Yes, there was a young mom who was here with her baby on a long journey of 126 days to recovery. We are in the House a lot when we bake so we get to know people that are here long term! On Thursday mornings, she would come down to have tea and chat about life with us while we baked. It became a regular thing while she was here. One time, her mother even came in to cook lunch with us! She was so appreciative of what the House was doing for her daughter. Often families will come into the kitchen and tell stories about their child, and you’ll listen. There will be times when families will offer to help cook or help wash the dishes after the meal, and there will even be times when you watch the children or hold a baby so that a mother has time to eat. 

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