Lifting Up Our Clients During the Holidays
The holidays are often a joyous time spent with friends, loved ones and chosen family, attending holiday parties or exchanging presents. Sadly and realistically, this is certainly not the case for all. I think about many of our clients who are homebound, living with chronic health conditions that can bring on frailty or pain. Too often, poor health conditions can lead to social isolation and deep feelings of loneliness. Mental health professionals often report that the December holidays often are an especially difficult time for individuals who are isolated.
For these reasons, I am deeply grateful to our staff and volunteers who deliver meals to our clients – year round of course, but especially during the holidays. This aspect of our mission definitely underscores that food is love. A warm smile and greeting; a compliment issued (Mrs. Jones, I really like the scarf you are wearing today…very colorful!); a good deed performed while delivering meals (such as bringing the newspaper to the front door from the street, or removing a fallen branch from a walkway leading to the front door). These acts of kindness go a long way to help brighten the spirts of individuals who are struggling.
Our staff and volunteers often reflect on the sense of enjoyment and purpose they feel when they give so generously of their time. Thirty-four years of kindness offered to our neighbors in need…Open Hand has touched a lot of lives! That is such a pride point for all of us as we work together to fulfill our mission.
I leave you with a few favorite quotes from Mother Teresa that validate the efforts of our staff and volunteers:
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
-Matthew Pieper, Executive Director