HOK Volunteers Feed 140 Ronald McDonald House Guests in Toronto
A group of 20 Toronto employees planned, prepared and served a special meal to families of children receiving medical treatment far from home.
Deb Sperry, an interiors practice leader in HOK’s Toronto office, devised the idea for hosting the event during her weekly client meeting at the McDonald’s Canada Ltd. office. Since 2010, the Toronto studio has been working with McDonald’s Canada to develop a comprehensive workplace design strategy that will meet its current and future real estate needs.
A discussion about the volunteer programs held at Ronald McDonald House Charities, a not-for-profit organization operated by McDonald’s, piqued Sperry’s interest. Each year, more than 10,000 families stay at Ronald McDonald Houses around the world for little to no cost. The Toronto location is located a few blocks from the city’s largest concentration of hospitals, including SickKids Hospital, as well as HOK’s Toronto office.
Sperry recruited a group of HOK home chefs, project managers and philanthropic-minded volunteers to plan, prepare and serve a meal to 140 Ronald McDonald House guests. After the dinner, several families commented that it was the best meal they had experienced and packed up leftovers to enjoy later. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the Toronto team plans to make it an annual event.
“The dinner was an exceptional experience for many reasons,” said Jozef Pilasanovic, HOK senior project interior designer and head chef. “I got to do something I love so much and had an opportunity to work with and coordinate a large team. It was a privilege to bring joy to the residents of Ronald McDonald House.”