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North students cook up meal for hospice patients

1/16/12 — The News-Herald

By Tracey Read

Taylor Castle had a good reason for wanting to show residents of the Hospice of the Western Reserve that she cares.

“I’ve had a lot of family members go through hospice, so you know how people are feeling when they’re here,” said Taylor, a sophomore at Eastlake North High School.

Taylor was one of more than 15 members of the high school’s Volunteer Club who showed up to the Cleveland facility Sunday night to cook dinner for an estimated 150 hospice patients and their families.

Jen Schendel, an English teacher and co-adviser of the club, said students cook for the patients about four or five times a year and that it’s one of their favorite volunteer activities.

“Today we’re serving chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, pasta salad, soup and desserts,” she said. “(Patients) are very excited to see the kids. They love to spend time chatting with them. They seem very grateful, but I think the kids are even more grateful that they get to come here and spend time with some really nice people.”

Her fellow English teacher, Lindsay Scripp, added that it’s amazing to her that so many students are willing to put in their time to help the community in such a way.

“The families of the patients who come here have a long, rough road ahead of them and I think the kids just want to brighten their day in any way possible,” she said.

Last spring, the students raised money to buy a stove for Hospice to make preparing their meals easier.

Junior Nurik Eldosov said he enjoys cooking and plans to make the next meal they do at Western Reserve better by making the mashed potatoes homemade next time.

“We’re just trying to hopefully make their day,” Nurik said.

Taylor said many diners are pleasantly surprised to find out who’s behind the aprons.

“A lot of people find it really nice that kids from high school are coming to do this,” she said.

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