HALLOWELL, Maine — Since 1998, Spectrum Generations has worked with local partners on a special project to remember those who are elderly and frail. The Meals on Wheels Christmas Ornament Project is a success thanks to the generosity of community. Individuals, businesses or organizations purchase handmade Christmas ornaments crafted and donated by local volunteers and school children. The money collected, $4 for each ornament, goes toward the cost of the meals and the ornaments are given to the homebound seniors and disabled adults.
Spectrum Generations collaborates with central Maine schools and organizations to create the ornaments. Some of the schools and organizations participating in the ornament project include Pittston School, Girl Scout Troop 522, Manchester Elementary, Winthrop Grade School and the Henry Cottrell Elementary School.
Shelly Simpson, principal of Pittston School, said, “It has been such a pleasure to be partnered with Spectrum Generations for the last seven years helping others in need. The students at Pittston School have really embraced this opportunity to lend a hand in the community. They take great pride in making ornaments, special gifts for our local citizens during the many holidays throughout the year and collecting coins for the annual Meals on Wheels Penny Drive. We hope to maintain our partnership for many years to come.”
The ornaments are very much appreciated by the Meals on Wheels consumers. Often the ornaments are kept on display throughout the year.
“One elderly lady comes to mind,” said Lynda Johnson, nutrition coordinator. “She was very frail after falling and breaking her hip, but always had a smile on her face and had something nice to say each time she was delivered a meal. After receiving the ornament last Christmas, she was very quiet and thoughtful, looking at me with tears in her eyes, she said, ‘Is this really for me? Please thank the children that made me this ornament. I will treasure it forever.’ I found out later that this homemade gift was the only gift she received that year.”
Approximately 1,500 homebound adults depended on Spectrum Generations to deliver as many as 200,000 Meals on Wheels to 128 towns across central Maine in 2010. The average cost of each meal is approximately $5.60, although the average donation is less than $1 per meal. To support the Meals on Wheels 2011 Holiday Ornament Project, write Lynda Johnson, P.O. Box 272, Hallowell 04347. Make checks payable to Spectrum Generations. For information, call 626-7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.