Caroline Proulx, Onboarding Manager at Elevate by Welch , is a compassionate leader and is always eager to support her community. With the aim to support both families in need as well as local businesses, Caroline organized the Meals that Heal campaign with Naturally Vero, a local vegan café and food delivery service.

Caroline says she has always wanted to get involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. “I knew about the Meals that Heal program from when I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto many years ago,” Caroline tells us. “Many families are required to travel in order for their children to receive medical care and this can be very stressful, emotionally and financially.”

The National Capital Children’s Oncology Care Inc. Manoir Ronald McDonald House Ottawa has opened its doors to sick children and their families since 1984. They are dedicated to providing a warm, safe, affordable and compassionate environment for families of seriously ill children receiving medical services.

Elevate by Welch’s Meals that Heal program helps relieve families from a stressful night of cooking. Having a sick child can be extremely draining, and the Meals that Heal program takes away the worry of having to create a healthy home-cooked meal for the whole family. Meals that Heal allows members of the community to support these families. RMHC – Ottawa normally opens up their kitchen to the volunteers to prepare a dinner or brunch for up to 30 people. However, there were some changes required due to the pandemic.

“Covid-19 did interfere with how the Meals that Heal program was intended to work,” explains Caroline. “Prior to Covid-19 restrictions, a group would cook the meals for the families in the RMHC kitchen. Due to the restrictions we could only drop off the meals and we were not able to interact with the families.”

Caroline contacted an Ottawa-Gatineau business community stalwart - Veronique Daoust – chef and owner of Naturally Vero, with the hopes of collaborating on this community-driven campaign. Naturally Vero has been a business leader in the Ottawa-Gatineau community for a number of years.

“It seemed like a perfect fit: to be able to partner up with a business leader who crafts wholesome meals that fill the heart as well as the stomach,” says Sean Duffy, Senior Manager at Elevate by Welch.  

Together, Caroline and Veronique wanted to do something to give back to the community during the holiday season.  They wanted to create a meal that was healthy and also comforting for the families staying at the RMHC – Ottawa; it was important to provide a nutritious meal to the exhausted families. “My personal story and the stories of countless families that benefitted from RMHOTT and the staff – inspired Naturally Vero to craft something special,” adds Caroline.

December 30th, 2020 was a cold, quiet winter day. The team at Naturally Vero organized the meal prep at their café located in Chelsea, Quebec. Veronique and Caroline were thrilled to personally deliver the meals to RMHC, despite not having the opportunity to meet and interact with the families at RMHC due to COVID-19 restrictions. The menu for the evening was created specifically for the families at RMHC and the theme was health and comfort. The starter was a Butternut Squash & Sage soup. The main course was a Vegetable Lasagna served with Maple Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables and a Spinach Pear Salad. Naturally Vero also included a bright yellow lunch box for every meal.

Pictured above: Butternut Squash & Sage soup, main course of Vegetable Lasagna served with Maple Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables, and a Spinach Pear Salad.

Elevate by Welch and Naturally Vero intend to continue running this campaign each quarter. “We want to be a presence and an expectation for the families that are staying at RMHOTT – and help to lift some spirits along the way,” says Veronique.

If you want to get involved with helping RMHC Ottawa, visit their website and check out the Get Involved page. They have a number of ways you can help. Once the Covid-19 restrictions lift, Caroline and Veronique will need the help of some volunteers to assist in making dinner for the families at RMHC - Ottawa.  

If you want to know more about how you can help, please reach out at cproulx@welchllp.com

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