November 30 2012
An impressive operation -- hundreds of volunteers work to provide 4,200 hot meals to low-income seniors on Thanksgiving.
This Thanksgiving was the best ever for Community Projects For Seniors. In just one day, it packaged and delivered more than 4,200 hot meals to low-income seniors. And volunteers powered the entire project.
Jeff Hansen is the founder and executive director of the non-profit. He and his team have been delivering free meals since 1986.
"Being alone on the holidays can be very depressing. That's what we try to prevent," Hansen said.
About 200 volunteers packed into the gymnasium at the Marian Center for Non-Profits, forming two long and efficient assembly lines. Cooked turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans were packed into boxes, sealed with a card, and loaded into volunteers' cars to be delivered to seniors. Each boxed meal also received a piece of pumpkin pie.
But food is just a starting point.
"Our volunteers spend time with the seniors. They visit with them," Hansen said. "They're shut-in and can't easily get to other free meal sites."
"We wanted Thanksgiving to mean more than just us eating," one volunteer said as she wrapped cellophane around a boxed dinner. "This is just what we do."
Volunteers reached more than 200 sites in eight counties in southeastern Wisconsin, Hansen said. And the work continues at Christmas and Easter.
"We always need volunteers. We can never stop," Hansen said.
To connect with Community Projects For Seniors, or to volunteer at Christmas or Easter, call (414) 444-6544 or visit its official website.