Home for the Holidays
The YMCA Home for the Holidays program provides homebound seniors in the Greater New Orleans area with a hot meal on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving 2016 is the 31st year the program will serve the community.
Home for the Holidays is a true community strengthening initiative. Starting at 5AM Thanksgiving morning, volunteers begin cooking and preparing over 1,500 meals. Members of the YMCA and their families bake homemade desserts to include in each meal and local school children create handmade cards for each senior. Once the meals are finally finished and packaged, over 200 volunteers deliver the meals to homebound seniors in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Tammany parishes.
“I am 84 years old and this is a blessing to me. I can’t see too good and I can’t walk,” says Home for the Holidays recipient Ms. Mary. The Home for the Holidays program is a special opportunity for the recipients and volunteers. The program connects generations and communities to ensure our seniors know that they are cared for and provides an opportunity for volunteers to make a difference. This program truly embodies the act of being thankful and giving back. The time that our volunteers spend talking to the seniors is just as important as the meal itself. Having this engagement and interaction during a holiday when the absence of family is felt when living alone, has the ability to lift the seniors’ moods and impact their outlook on life.