New program aims to bring warmth and kindness to homebound this holiday season
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – A new program is aimed at bringing warmth and kindness to those receiving meals through the Home Delivered Meals program this holiday season.
“It was derived from the idea that most of the recipients are foregoing Thanksgiving this year with their families, and possibly Christmas. Most of the recipients, during this time of COVID, are alone and devoid of human touch. Their voices on the phone, since March, have become melancholy, defeated, sad, and withdrawn. They are alone with their four walls, and the news they are hearing on their televisions and radios is bleak, at best, as it pertains to COVID vs. their demographic age group,” explained Home Delivered Meals Coordinator Kris Hughes.
“Holidays can be very difficult for people, especially those who have lost loved ones. There is an eternal void that exists for them, their solace is to be with people that bridge happiness for them.
“This year, being that families are not gathering, that missing bridge heightens the sadness two fold. There is a need to be reaching out, even if it is just a simple phone call. With that, sparked the idea for SILVER SPARKS. It is to give a feeling of ‘warmth and kindness’ and to ‘rekindle good memories.’”
Organizers are seeking donations that are “warm, comforting, and soft,” such as: cocoa, socks, mittens, hand soap, lotion, a night light, an ornament, a word search book, a deck of cards, etc…
“I feel that if we receive 800 small donations, it will be enough to make beautifully tied bags for each recipient,” Hughes said.
Organizers will be bagging the items the week before Christmas and distributing them to meal recipients.
“My hope is that each bag, and each little item in each bag, is like a much needed hug. I hope that it is a gift that brings warmth and happiness, and that each recipient feels like they are special and thought about this holiday season. We are ‘paying-it forward’/ ‘paying it back’ to people who have already given so much to their communities, and to others, in their lifetime,” added Hughes.
“It has been a year of uncertainty. This is the one thing I am certain of, we have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, in a good way. We can spread happiness to those who are most alone, and we need to look at people and realize, ‘everyone is somebody’s someone.’”
Home Delivered Meals is a United Way-funded program. Donations may be dropped off at the Marshfield United Way office or the Marshfield Medical Center cafeteria.
Drop off stations will also be available Nov. 29, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the former Marshfield Office Max parking lot and Dec. 13, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the main entrance at Marshfield Medical Center.
For more information, contact Hughes at 715-387-9585 or Ashley Winch, United Way, at 715-384-9992.