NEW YORK — Hundreds of volunteers turned out on Christmas morning to make sure thousands of elderly New Yorkers had a festive meal for the holiday.
Citymeals on Wheels was set to deliver nearly 20,000 meals to homebound seniors across the five boroughs on Saturday. The holiday effort came as the organization celebrated a milestone.
What You Need To Know
- Hundreds of volunteers helped Citymeals on Wheels deliver meals to homebound seniors on Christmas morning
- The organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary
- It partnered with local organizations including the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center to distribute the meals
"[We're] celebrating our 40th anniversary, because Christmas Day is when Citymeals on Wheels was born," said Vivienne O’Neill, the organization's senior director of volunteer programs and corporate engagement. "And we’re feeding 20,000 homebound seniors who otherwise would not receive a meal today."
Citymeals on Wheels partnered with local organizations, including the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, to distribute the meals. On Saturday, more than 200 volunteers were on hand preparing meals and packing boxes to be delivered to seniors on the Upper East Side.
“We do this year round, but in the holiday season, it’s a special, special day," said Gregory Morris, the president and executive director of the Neighborhood Center. "We want to make sure that on Christmas we’re doing an extra set of delivery, an extra special box coming to everyone’s door of a healthy warm nutritious meal."
Thanks to our 300 caring volunteers, who are spending the holiday delivering meals to their isolated, older neighbors – reminding them they are not forgotten on this special day. pic.twitter.com/WzPaNof0FM— Citymeals on Wheels (@Citymeals) December 25, 2021
James Anson-Holland was among the New Yorkers who volunteered at the Neighborhood Center on Saturday. He and his girlfriend are from New Zealand and do not have family in the city.
“We wanted to reach out and do something with some people in the community rather than have Christmas by ourselves," Anson-Holland said. "Be around some people and do some good deeds at the same time."
With COVID-19 cases surging across the city, volunteers took precautions including wearing masks and socially distancing.
“I feel pretty safe in that regard," Anson-Holland said. "It’s a small risk to pay to give some people a relatively joyous Christmas."
Anyone looking to volunteer or donate can go to Citymeals on Wheels' website.
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