Just before Thanksgiving, a group of students studying interior design at Villa spent some time volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House. Located on West Ferry Street in Buffalo, the Ronald McDonald House aims to “keep families close” by providing lodging and emotional support for families of children receiving medical treatment in Buffalo.
Markisha Harris, ’21, was among the students who participated in the charitable outing. “I choose to participate because I wanted to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House, which is a community-based charity” said Harris. “In no way, shape or form am I good at decorating [for the holidays], but I wanted to support a cause that changes lives and I got to do it while spending time with my friends.”
Harris was part of a group of Villa volunteers that consisted of three students and Professor of Interior Design Sandra Reicis.
“As a Villa team, we worked on the living room, the large tree, the mantle and the Hanukkah display,” said Professor Reicis. “Several residents stopped to tell us how beautiful the decorating was. The staff at the Ronald McDonald House said that the transformation from ordinary decor to holiday decor would be magical for the patients and families who were at the hospital early in the morning and would return to this full holiday splendor.”
The Villa team worked in conjunction with the Interior Design Association of Western New York to decorate several parts of the house, including 3 trees, 2 mantles, the front entryway, the foyer, they staircase banister, railings and the family room/play room.
According to the Ronald McDonald House, the home is almost full to occupancy. The only support they receive is community support. It is not funded by any government agency, nor is it funded by corporate McDonald’s, which makes the effort of volunteers, like Villa’s students and faculty, even more vital.