Wanderers A-League players Thomas Aquilina, Bernie Ibini, Daniel Margush, Jordon Mutch, Tass Mourdoukoutas, Kwame Yeboah, and Patrick Ziegler visited Ronald McDonald House Greater Western Sydney (RMH GWS) last night to cook and serve meals for families who have spent a long day in the hospital ward with their seriously ill children.
Over the past eight seasons, the partnership between the Wanderers and Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney (RMHC GWS) has grown from strength to strength through the development and relationship between the players, staff, and families at the house.
Three years ago Ronald McDonald House Westmead completely transformed into a purpose-built, 60 room accommodation facility, catering to more families in need.
In 2021, it is expected to accommodate and support over 2,000 families with a seriously ill child, allowing parents and carers to focus on the health of their child when they need it most.
Monday night saw the Wanderers players participate in the club's annual tradition of cooking and serving meals as part of the Meals from the Heart Program.
Most of us take a home-cooked meal for granted and the Meals From The Heart Program provides a much-needed service to families who are supporting their sick kids and often don’t have the time, funds or energy to prepare a healthy home-cooked meal.
The visit to the house also coincides with the club's annual match dedicated to RMHC GWS this Friday night against Brisbane Roar which will see families from the house be part of the game-day experience.
CEO of RMHC GWS Belinda Woolford said the spirits of the house are lifted when the Wanderers regularly give their time throughout the season.
"We're forever grateful to the Wanderers for their ongoing support of seriously ill children and their families," said Woolford.
"When the players visit the house, you can see the impact immediately, spirits are lifted which is priceless."
Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush, who was visiting the house for the very first time, said the night was a special experience ahead of Friday night's dedicated fixture.
"It means a lot, it's nice to see any kid smile let alone a kid that is going through some hardship," said Margush.
"I've been here for a bit and I can see that the Wanderers are a community club and that there's a big family vibe at the place, and that extends to our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Greater Western Sydney.
"To know that they will be watching (children from RMHC GWS) on Friday night will give us a bit more motviation to go out and get the result for them."
Wanderers Ambassador for RMHC GWS Patrick Ziegler said he was proud to be an Ambassador with the regular visits to the house putting life into perspective.
"I'm very proud to be the Ambassador, what they do is amazing and when you see the smiles of the kids today it's so great. You appreciate more what you have," said Ziegler.
"We're just playing football, nothing more than football and if you see what these kids deal with it's nothing compared to this. It means the world to us to put a smile on the faces of these kids and give them a bit of happiness."