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Christmas Dinner Will Never Be The Same

The Holidays were upon us and the office was getting a bit harried. We try to give the volunteers a bit of a respite from rides around Christmas and New Year. It’s a family time and sometimes squeezing in a ride can be rather difficult. But aside from all this, Helen was wondering how we were ever going to get the meal calls done, an important part of our seasonal program.

Each year The British Home provides a holiday meal for local shut ins or those who might be alone. A nice program and one that fits nicely with our vision for the community, so we usually get in touch with our clients to see how they’re doing and if they’d like to have dinner delivered. Since everyone seemed to be busy, Helen decided to make the calls. She said, “I’ll never think of Christmas dinner the same way again.”

Each call was a new story…thank you for thinking of me… you don’t have to do that, but it would be wonderful. It made her realize how important this one call was…w it let each one of these people know that we were thinking of them. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle you can easily forget that just saying “we care” can change someone’s outlook.

When Addie answered, there was a little hesitation until she recognized Helen and PeopleCare. Then she couldn’t figure out how Christmas Day was going to work out because her sister was sick and…e then blurted out, “Yes, please deliver my dinner. That’s the day before Christmas and if my sister invites me, I’ll eat the dinner the day after. Oh thank you.”

And when she talked to Frank, he said “I’m so glad you called so I can thank you again for your help. Everything is better now and my wife can even yell at me again.” It made Helen remember the day Frank called our office and said, “Hi, this is Frank, I’m one of your people and I need help. It’s my wife…e used to read to me for God’s sake and now she just sits there and cries. Do you have someone who can teach her how to talk again and go upstairs?”

Helen told Frank it was nice to hear things were going better and that he and his wife would be going to his son’s home for dinner on Christmas.

It didn’t seem to matter who Helen called, they were all glad that someone cared enough ask about them…en though a meal wasn’t necessary. She even gathered some new information about some of our less active clients.

She discovered Milly now has a 24 hour caregiver who loves to cook, so she’ll have her own private chef for the evening, but still, “it was so nice of you to think about me.”

And Elinore told her their refrigerator had been delivered by the Village of North Riverside…e one we had gotten from Plymouth Place to replace an ice chest being used for cold storage by Elinore and her husband. But she said they couldn’t possibly accept anything more from us, we were doing too much already and they “didn’t deserve it.”

That was a tough one…at do you say? After some talking, reassuring, listening and even a tear or two, she relented and agreed to have two dinners delivered.

When Helen got off the phone she couldn’t help but wonder whether we shouldn’t create a “keep in touch” call program to touch bases with our clients more often. These calls seemed to make such a difference to them. Just letting them know we cared was enough to spark up their day. It seemed also to give us another chance to provide additional service where help was needed. Plus it made Helen feel good, too.

After the last staff meeting, it sounded like everyone agreed with Helen’s assessment and it looks like we’re getting an official “Keep in Touch” program going. Like she said, “Christmas Dinner will never be the same.”

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