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‘Compassion’ fills agency deliveries

Emily VanDette, left, and daughter Ellie with a few of the gift bags they created for the meal recipients on their route.

Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels is blessed to operate in a community where sharing is a way of life. During Subaru’s Share the Love Event, which runs through Monday. The agency invites everyone to Share the Love with our homebound neighbors during what might otherwise be a lonely time of year for them.

Meals on Wheels works hard to make the holidays as special as possible for meal recipients. The agency coordinates with groups and individuals to provide small gifts and treats for them, including handmade ornaments from school children and cards sharing messages of hope and love.

This year several organizations and individuals got into the spirit of “sharing the love” in a number of inspiring ways:

Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels volunteer Emily VanDette and family warmed the hearts of the meal recipients on their volunteer route by creating personalized gift bags for each one. Together they hand-crafted hot chocolate spoons, heating pads and pocket shawls. Other gifts included chocolates, festive socks, fleece blankets, jigsaw puzzles and juicy clementines.

The creative crafters at WCA Home happily fashion hundreds of handmade tray favors and cards for distribution to DFMOW clients not only at holiday time, but throughout the year. This year handmade Christmas cards featured personalized greetings from WCA residents.

A young crafter at School 7 puts the finishing touches on a holiday ornament he created for Meals on Wheels

At Dunkirk City School District’s School 7, teachers Mrs. Rodriguez and Ms. Lowe celebrate Share the Love by keeping their talented Kindergarten crafters busy creating dozens of handmade ornaments for meal recipients’ trees.

Northern Chautauqua Quilting Companions stitched over 200 beautiful placemats to brighten the tables of all Meals on Wheels recipients during the holiday season.

“Especially this year because of the pandemic, many of our clients will spend the holidays alone,” said Debra Pacos, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels. “It is heartwarming to see such true compassion and generosity in action, helping to make the holiday season just a little bit brighter for everyone.”

Since 2008, the Subaru Share the Love Event has helped local Meals on Wheels programs deliver over 2.2 million meals to vulnerable seniors nationwide. By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Subaru Share the Love Event and selecting Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors right here in Northern Chautauqua County.

A United Way Community Partner, Meals on Wheels also receives support for its programs and operations from the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, area service organizations, churches and individual donors.

This year Meals on Wheels desperately needs volunteers to help us bring nutrition and independence to our senior neighbors. One hour per week is all it takes to provide life-giving assistance to area residents whose age or disability make it difficult to shop for or prepare meals. Please phone Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels at 716-366-8822, or email to dpacosdfmow@netsync.net.

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