The holiday season is always an opportunity for all of all of us to do a little self-reflection.
In doing so, we can appreciate and focus on the all of the good that rises to the top in tough times. This Thanksgiving, we piloted our first “Friends Giving” with the help of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties in addition to supporting Friends of Poor’s Thanksgiving Program.
Thanks to our partners at the chamber, we were connected to three amazing supporters who not only made 125 older adults’ Thanksgiving better, but more importantly reminded them their neighbors care about them.
Cables General Store in Union Dale, The Mess Hall in Moscow and Aramark University of Scranton prepared beautiful meals. We can not thank them enough for supporting us and we encourage you all to support them if you have the opportunity too.
Meals represent only half of the lift. Volunteers from the North Pocono School District rallied and covered their area, reminding us how strong communities in this county are.
United Way volunteers stepped up, as always, to help us get dinner into the hands of those who needed them. The Area Agency on Aging team did their part, but not without the support of some of the highest ranking county officials. Many of the volunteers delivered as a family, a good reminder for us all to be thankful for the families we have and the importance of sharing them with those who need us, too.
If you have never had a chance to volunteer to help an older adult, I strongly encourage you to do so at least once a year. Meals of Wheels always needs volunteers. There is no better feeling in the world knowing the hour or so you spend has a far more lasting impact than the meal you delivered. Call 570-346-2421 to volunteer.
As we move into the second half of the holiday, we are piloting another community program to help make this time of year a little more cheerful for our older neighbors.
This year, we are looking for either corporate or individual sponsors to help us. For $50, a senior will receive a holiday package with a seasonal gift and a grocery store gift card. We are working with local merchants and grocery stores to buy local and support the community that supports us. This is not a fundraiser — all of the resources we collect will be used for older adults.
We know things are tough out there. They are especially tough on those with a fixed income. We encourage you to sponsor with family, friends and coworkers.
Five people contributing $10 dollars carries the same weight as the fortunate individual who can afford to contribute $50. When you do this as a group or family, you share something special for your holiday season. If you want to include a personalized card, we will send it along with the package.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please call us at 570-963-6740 and select option 4 or check out or website to sign up.
We need volunteers to help us deliver again. We are a small agency and have a lot of folks who need our help. We need your help when it comes to special projects like this one. If you can help us deliver or want to volunteer in another way, please call us.
Holiday deliveries and meals might not speak to you. If you still want to give back, you can be a Snow Angel. NeighborWorks of NEPA is starting a snow removal program for older adults.
Living in Northeastern PA all my life, I know the joy that shoveling snow brings us all. One way to surely bring joy to an older adults life is to jump on board this pilot. It cost a little bit of your time and effort but you are keeping someone safe, bringing them relief and happiness, and allowing to remain in their home longer. You can become a Snow Angel by reaching out to Alyssa Espinoza at AEspinoza@nwnepa.org or at 570-558-2490.
There is a lot to be grateful for. We live in an amazing community, we have generous and community-minded neighbors, we have a local business community that gives back continuously, and we have the older adults who made all this possible for us. They built this community for us — for that I can never stop being thankful.
From all of us at the Area Agency on Aging, have a healthy and happy holiday season.
Jason Kavulich is the director of Lackawanna County’s Area Agency on Aging. For more information on services available or on becoming a dom care provider, call 570-963-6740.