Meals on Wheels recipients will receive a hot meal on Christmas Day thanks to the William Frankiewicz Foundation, the First Congregational UCC of DeKalb, and Northwestern Medicine Valley West Community Hospital.
While our Meals on Wheels kitchens closes on December 24 and 25 to give staff the holidays with family, our holiday meal sponsors have generously provided for the Christmas Day meal, in collaboration with local volunteers. All participants in the Meals on Wheels program through Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb County (VAC) have received a letter asking if they will be at home and if they would like to have a meal delivered that day.
This is the 22nd year that the Frankiewicz Foundation has sponsored the holiday meal, the 15th year that Valley West has sponsored the Christmas meal, and the first year for the First Congregational Church to sponsor the holiday meal for isolated seniors in the local area.
VAC has provided Meals on Wheels to DeKalb County residents for over 30 years, and delivered their first meal on Thanksgiving Day 1989. Over the years, volunteers continue to deliver holiday meals to participants in need on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day.
Originally funded through Meals on Wheels Illinois and a grant through the Seagram Company, VAC collaborated with Pine Acres of DeKalb, IL to prepare the holiday meals. “We recruited volunteers to deliver meals and holiday cards to homebound residents,” said VAC CEO, Ellen Rogers. Soon VAC began a partnership with Kishwaukee Hospital to provide Meals on Wheels. In 1992, VAC opened and began preparing meals in its own community kitchen.
“This is a great program, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it,” said Penni Blue, Dietician & Food Service Manager at Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital. “It is nice to prepare the meals, and we always add a treat or a small gift, too. Connecting with the volunteers who pick up the meals for delivery is very special, too,” she said. Rogers agreed, saying, “Volunteers not only help deliver meals, but also make holiday favors or small gifts. Some decorate the sacks and meal lids with holiday themed messages and drawings, too. All of these little touches really make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”
For more information on how you can help the mission of Voluntary Action Center, contact Voluntary Action Center, 1606 Bethany Road, Sycamore, IL 60178 at 815-758-3932, or donate online at www.vacdk.org.
Voluntary Action Center receives Title 3 Older Americans Act and State of Illinois General Revenue funds through the Northern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging. VAC is a United Way Partner Agency.
Since 1974, Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb County has served the transportation and nutrition needs of our community through our Community Transit, Meals on Wheels, and Senior Nutrition. Our mission includes a five-county network of caring staff. We invite you to join our team!