The theme was Italian, the critiques were in reality TV cooking show-style and everyone got to do the dishes when Gallagher North Queensland cooked up a storm for Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia at the Townsville Hospital Feast with Friends Dinner Program.
The idea of getting together to feed families with seriously ill children in hospital started with Branch Manager Ashley McCulloch and was picked up enthusiastically by Account Executive Karina Wilson who volunteers weekly with the Ronald McDonald Family Room apartment attached to the paediatric ward.
Deciding to make it a team-building exercise, the Gallagher group of 14 started work in the kitchen at 3pm on 21 February, divided into groups of three or four and competed to create the best dish.
On the menu
- spaghetti plus vegetarian option
- lasagne plus vegetarian option
- Caesar salad
- garden salad
- peach and pear crumble
There was no clear culinary winner but the 30 or 40 family members of child patients at the hospital appreciated the colourful and tasty spread, as well as the opportunity for a dinner-time chat.
Teamwork makes the dream work
“We all worked together well in our units and as a whole team,” Karina says. “Everyone loved it, especially sitting and talking with the families and getting involved with their stories.
“Giving back as a team and being in the community we’re here to serve really is the Gallagher Way in action.”
Here’s what they had to say about their volunteering experience.
“Feast with Friends was unlike anything I’ve done before. It was really heartwarming to be able to do something for families that are struggling and spending a lot of time away from their homes, just being able to connect with them hear their stories and see how much it really meant to them.”
“One of the most rewarding things I have ever been part of. The gratitude from the families was absolutely amazing and it made it so worthwhile, I would do it all again in a heartbeat!”
"I really enjoyed the afternoon and night, I had a great time helping make the meals and meeting some of the families staying there. I think giving back to the community is so rewarding. The kindness of the staff and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House goes so far."
“A very rewarding afternoon/evening spent with colleagues while helping other members of our community.”
“It was very humbling to know that I work for a company that makes it a priority to give back to our community.”
“I loved my team seeing the charity that I have such a passion for and appreciating what this charity does for the community.”
“It was a great opportunity to give back to the community and to see and talk to families who utilise the facilities. Without the Ronald McDonald House Charities they would not be able to manage the situation. It was also a very enjoyable experience to do as a team and I would strongly recommend other businesses supporting this great cause.”
Thank you, volunteers
Marnie Bricknell from Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia expressed her appreciation in a thank you note: “You were a great team and blitzed the cooking in record time. Thanks for being such an amazing charity champion.”
See how Gallagher’s commitment to supporting the communities where we operate translates as a real life ‘blueprint for better’ in our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.