The Old Forge Observer
An online newspaper for the Old Forge School District
Un Coup De Main: A Helping Hand
By: Hannah L ('20)
People have always used the quote, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” as motivation. That is exactly what Mrs. Moulin and her French Club are doing with wherever they go and everyone’s hearts that they touch. The Old Forge High School French Club, advised by Mrs. Moulin, was started in 2013. Six years later, the club is still growing and holding a very important charity close to their hearts: The Ronald McDonald House Charities.
When Mrs. Moulin first started the French Club, the members wanted an organization to support. They automatically thought of the Ronald McDonald House because of its important meaning. The Ronald McDonald House Charities is an American nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and support programs that help the well being of children, and to allow families to access medical treatment by providing a place to stay for no cost. Families can stay as long as they need during these hard times.
Fast forward to a few years later, and the strive to help others has become more important than ever for Mrs. Moulin and the French Club. Awhile ago, Mrs. Moulin was admitted into the Penn State Hershey Hospital herself. While her and her two adored boys, Benjamin and Luca, were staying there, her family was able to stay across the street at the Ronald McDonald House of Hershey. This was the first time the house allowed not only the parents of the sick children to stay, but the parents’ families.
With 300 Ronald McDonald Houses in the country, every single one has impacted these families in more ways than one. Being away from home for a long period of time, as Mrs. Moulin lived in a Ronald McDonald house for five and a half months, is incredibly hard and stressful. When Mrs. Moulin was asked what one word she would use to describe the people who worked in these houses, “generous,” was the word that quickly came to her mind. “These people are not only doing their job, but they grow a personal relationship with you. They will constantly ask how you and your kids are doing, and will do everything in their power to make you feel at home,” Mrs. Moulin says. She got close with some of the families staying in the home with her, which held 35 families total. They all went through similar struggles, and having people there that knew what each other went through helped.
The Ronald McDonald Houses are not just somewhere to sleep and eat. The number of volunteers, including the French Club, help make the experience less stressful for the families. People come in to cook dinners after long days, the house is decorated for every holiday, and the workers always make sure everything is clean. McDonald’s has a coin drop at every cash register across the nation. The Old Forge French Club donates to the Scranton Ronald McDonald House every holiday, and most small city locations can hold up to around eight families. All of the French Club members buy themed toys, coloring books, puzzles, and so much more for the families staying there that can’t experience these holidays like everyone else.
The French Club Officers personally hand deliver their donations to the house. The workers and families are beyond grateful for our acts of kindness. “After I went through everything, I didn’t know how to repay these kind hearted people and this outstanding organization. I knew I had to do something,” said Mrs. Moulin. She is doing more than enough. Between helping them through the French Club and speaking at Ronald McDonald events with her family, Mrs. Moulin gives as much back as she can. When the Christmas donations are delivered, the club members get an exclusive tour of the house, which is decorated beautifully every year. The workers explain the process, the great things that they do, and emphasize how truly gracious the families are. It puts a lot of perspective into what these families go through, which makes volunteering and donating more rewarding.
The French Club is not only having monthly meetings filled with French games, holiday parties, and a trip to New York City for a broadway show. The French Club is about helping people, giving back to the community, and giving these sick children and their families hope and optimism. Mrs. Moulin is not only giving back to the people who have impacted her life greatly, but she is impacting her students to be the helpful and caring students that she makes them want to be. As they say, wherever you go, go with all your heart.
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Emily T (class of '19)
Aby B (class of '20)
Lindsay W (class of '20)
Abigail G (class of '20)
Cassandra N (Class of '20)
Nick Z (class of '22)
Jenna D (class of '19)