Robotics volunteers at McDonald House

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Marguerite Alberts, staff writer

The Robotics team volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House on Fountain Avenue, keeping up an annual team tradition that was started six years ago, on Friday, Dec. 7. Approximately 20 Robotics students, most of whom were on the business team and had experience with children, were chosen to attend.

The Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House was first established 32 years ago to “provide comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California,” according to its website. The 75 rooms at the shelter are used for both long term and short term periods to house families that are traveling long distances for the health care of children who are undergoing treatments related to cancer and other grave illnesses. Although they encourage a $25 nightly fee for those who can afford it, the House does not turn anyone away.The charity helps underprivileged families through a variety of programs focused on health and education.

“We prefer to help causes for physical issues and children; the Ronald Mcdonald House has both,” junior Michael Simozar said.

The Robotics team volunteers at the McDonald House once a year, where they cook meals for the families staying there, including hamburgers, pasta, salads and other dishes.

“We love to see the children and families appreciating our home-cooked dinners,” Business Captain Jeffrey Toobi said.

Robotics brought small robots for the children to play with. After the team demonstrated how to work the robots, the children were allowed to control the toys themselves.

“We also let them control the robots themselves, and it’s wonderful seeing them have so much fun playing with it,” Toobi said.
Besides just cooking for the families and playing with robots, the Robotics team members participated in holiday-themed arts and crafts projects.
“We had coloring utensils, paper, stickers glue, glitter, etc. We drew with them and created something to remember us by,” Toobi said.

Volunteering at the McDonald House was also a marketing opportunity for the Robotics team.

“By doing charity we not only better serve our community, but spread awareness of robotics and the name of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which is the organization for which we compete every year,”   Toobi said.

The Robotics season begins on Jan. 5.

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