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Cooking with the Birds: Eagles host virtual cooking event for families battling cancer

Bringing Hope Home describes its mission with a simple statement – Unexpected amazingness for families with cancer.

Founded in 2008, Bringing Hope Home, a member of the Eagles Care network of nonprofit organizations, has helped over 6,200 families with over $7 million in assistance – from rent, mortgage, utilities, car payment, groceries, anything that the family needs help with.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Eagles and Bringing Hope Home looked to bring some more unexpected amazingness with a virtual cooking demonstration. Chef Nicole Feneli from the FLIK Hospitality Group taught about a dozen families how to make peppers stuffed with chicken sausage and couscous, a healthy and delicious meal that is easy enough for anyone in a time crunch. Chef Feneli was joined by Eagles players Jordan Mailata and Boston Scott, who followed the step-by-step directions and answered questions from the families in attendance.

"We had a really good time. We got a little bit of a late start, but we caught up," said Jenny Reece, who cooked alongside her two children Cecilia and Elijah. "Thankfully, I had these two helpers with me and they kept making sure that we were staying on track. That was really fun. We do like to cook and bake together a lot, so this was right up our alley. We were pretty pumped to be able to do this today."

"It was cool seeing some of the Eagles players," Cecilia Reece said.

Mailata showed everyone his dog and explained the challenge of trying to sleep on the plane ride home from San Francisco as a 6-foot-8, 346-pound individual. One fan noticed that Scott has two game balls from his three-touchdown performance last season against the New York Giants. Scott assured everyone that the game balls are always kept in the kitchen and were not brought out just for the special occasion. The two cracked jokes at each other's expense and shared some of their own cooking experiences. Mailata recalled eating so much chicken growing up in Australia that he thought it was a part of every meal, while Scott's mother, Shelley, is a dietician and always taught the importance of healthy eating.

Bringing Hope Home has come up with new and unique events and fundraisers in virtual formats. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how everyone lives, but the need for care and support remains the same.

"We've had to get really creative, but so far, so good," said Amy Seybold, Bringing Hope Home's director of family outreach. "Our donors and supporters want to help in any way that they can. It's been really amazing to see the outpouring of support."

The cooking demonstration lasted just under an hour. And just like that, dinner was ready to go. But more importantly, a fun time was shared by all of the families in attendance.

"It's been a little while since I was diagnosed, but they will always be a part of our lives," Jenny Reece said. "They're all part of our family. Bringing Hope Home has become an extension of our family tree. Whenever I contact them, I automatically say, 'Hi, Bringing Hope Home family,' because it's just been one of those areas of our lives that we had unexpected family come into it."

"These are lasting memories that our families will always have, so we're happy to be able to provide that for them," Seybold said. "Seeing our families smile and being able to provide opportunities like this just makes you know all your hard work worth it. That's really what it's all about."

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