From tots to seniors, needs are many this holiday season so area nonprofits last week hit the streets to make sure these families have a merry Christmas.
Metroport Meals on Wheels began making deliveries to senior citizens Dec. 15. MMOW’s Stockings for Seniors program ensures the organization’s home-bound participants receive something special.
“I love our stocking tree. It is so heartwarming to see the community eagerly anticipate being able to do something special for our participants and then respond so thoughtfully and generously,” MMOW Director Mary King. “Repeatedly, our participants tell us how awed and overwhelmed they are to be remembered—and then how amazed they are that we know what they wanted and needed.”
King said immediately after the first packages were delivered, the phone calls came.
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“One said she felt like a bag lady because she put on all her new clothes at the same time,” King said. “When we asked if she saved anything to open on Christmas morning, she said she was too excited not to open her packages right then!”
King said another caller received a hand-crocheted blanket that was red, white, and blue.
“He’s a veteran. He was touched beyond description, and vowed that he would cherish the blanket forever,” King said. “To me, Christmas should be special for everyone regardless of age.”
Most often, the program volunteers say they are the ones who receive a gift, as they are touched in meaningful ways while embracing the seniors, King said.
Roanoke Food Pantry braved the cold snap and made deliveries Dec. 17 to about 100 people, mostly those who live in Roanoke or have children in the Northwest Independent School District.
Pantry Director Dan Gordan said each family received Christmas gifts and enough food for the holiday meal and then some.
Gordan said they start collecting for Christmas deliveries a few days before Thanksgiving.
“We get tremendous support from people in this area,” Gordan said. “We usually have about 75 to 100 volunteers that come to help.”
Susan McFarland: 817-655-5649, @susanmcfarland1