Last night, residents of the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House were treated to a home-cooked meal, courtesy of Sigma Kappa.
As part of the sorority’s Week of Giving — dedicated to community service and the promotion of philanthropy — SK sisters cooked and served a dinner to the house’s current residents, whose relatives have received or are awaiting transplants. The sorority also prepared dinners on Sunday and Tuesday.
College senior Avery Franzblau, vice president of philanthropic services, said, “Everyone who stays here is pretty stressed and anxious, and I think that having a home-cooked meal is awesome and a good way of giving them a break.”
Earlier in the year, College senior Megan Soisson — head of public relations and marketing and Daily Pennsylvanian senior sports editor — suggested to include the dinner in their annual Week of Giving. While it was originally planned to last one night, the proposed dinner became a three-night event as the sisters’ interest in the project grew.
Throughout the past week, the sisters have served about 15 people at the house, including patients, their family and friends.
“This is a place that recognizes families as much as it recognizes patients,” said Engineering senior Sarah Scolnic, vice president of membership.
“A lot of our sisters have personal connections to diseases that don’t just affect the one person but affect their families and their loved ones,” Franzblau said. “So we really wanted to help that community.”
At 6:45 p.m., the house’s residents entered the dining area to try out what the sisters had cooked — tacos, Spanish rice, refried beans and cinnamon baked apples. Joan Dahl, who is living at the house while her sister receives treatment for leukemia, said, “I like [how] the students are preparing different meals every time they’re over. It does become very costly to eat locally … So this is a nice provision that offsets some of the costs for us.”
Jeff Solomon, a resident for his wife, Barbara, said the benefits of the transplant house in general and Sigma Kappa’s dinner “have meant a world of difference in [patients’] passion to continue to fight to live.”
Scolnic believes that both the dinner and the Week of Giving shows her sorority’s commitment to “giving back and doing anything we can.”
She added, “It’s nice for the community to realize that we’re not just loud neighbors.”