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Paying it forward

Moorestown students help fulfill Ronald McDonald House wish list

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: The Moorestown students brought items to Ronald McDonald House that included placemats with inspirational messages for its families.

The Ronald McDonald House in Camden hosted students from Moorestown High School earlier this month so they could learn more about the history of the nonprofit and assist with some of its work.

Brittany Scharadin, a special education teacher at the school explained how once a week or several times a month she and her students take Community-Based Instruction (CBI) trips, where students apply what they learn in class to the community.

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“There’s different tiers to community-based instruction,” Scharadin said. “This one is volunteering and community service, so their goal today was kindness and giving back.”

Before every trip, Scharadin’s students learn about where they’re headed and how to get involved. Since the Camden trip was focused on giving back, the youth brought items to donate that were included on the Ronald McDonald House website and its wish list. 

They also organized and sorted pantry items, organized the house’s toy pantry and made inspirational placemats with messages and pictures for families.

Previous CBI trips took students to restaurants and grocery stores, and this summer, they’ll participate in recreational activities, including hikes and fishing.

“It’s already easy to answer the ‘what’ questions, like what we’re doing (or) we did this today …” Scharadin said. “But my goal is for them (the students) to be able to start answering ‘Why I did this.’”

Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey (RMHSNJ) operates 11 homes in the area that provide a place for families to stay while their children undergo treatment. Its vision is a community where medically fragile children and their families face healing with a sense of hope and enthusiasm.

Alexis Braddock, community outreach coordinator for RMHSNJ, shared why the day with Moorestown students was special.

“I loved the students,” she said. “Ms. Brittany and her team of staff are amazing and wonderful. I loved the opportunity to be able to show our house and our families and who we are … 

“I think it was awesome for the kids to be able to see how they can affect change in a really positive, easy, fun way.”


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