GiveWell Community Foundation Provides Grant to VISTE

VISTE clients are able to celebrate the holidays in ways they might not have otherwise, thanks to the generosity of the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation, according to Alice O’Reilly, VISTE President.

Volunteers In Service To the Elderly (VISTE) recently received a 2014 Helping Hand Holiday Feeding Grant for $69,460, which was made possible by the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

“We are delighted to receive this grant,” O’Reilly said. “This allows us to treat our clients to a holiday with some magic in it. We would not have been able to afford to do all of this without this wonderful grant.”

Pies being prepared for the Thanksgiving Meal Delivery.

Pies being prepared for the Thanksgiving Meal Delivery.

O’Reilly advised that the grant funds were used in three different holiday activities. A portion was used to assist in underwriting the organization’s annual Thanksgiving Meal Delivery on the day before Thanksgiving. On that day, 1,400 meals were delivered by volunteers to clients.

Last week, VISTE volunteers and staff assisted in taking clients to a holiday dinner at Florida Southern College and then to the Sounds of the Season concert performed by the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. This grant allowed for that to be possible.

“Our clients aren’t able to afford to go to a catered dinner and to see a beautiful concert,” said Ashley Miller, Volunteer Coordinator. “There have been studies that have shown that music therapy is helpful in many situations regarding the elderly. This is an amazing opportunity for our clients.”

A client at the holiday dinner before the ISO concert

A client at the holiday dinner before the ISO concert

The majority of the funds from the grant, O’Reilly said, are being used this month in the nutrition component of VISTE’s services.

“Our monthly commodity boxes this month, which we distribute to approximately 1,500 individuals, include the basic ingredients necessary to cook a full holiday meal,” O’Reilly said. “We would not have been able to provide all of those foods to our clients were it not for the funds from this grant.”

Commodity clients will be receiving a small roaster, green beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing, a bag of potatoes, and a small pie, along with other, usual, commodities.

“Again, we are just so very thankful for this grant and for the wonderful things that we are able to do for our clients because of it,” said Miller.

Client Virginia Cooke and President Elect Steve Bissonnette

Client Virginia Cooke and President Elect Steve Bissonnette

For more information about VISTE, see the VISTE website at: www.viste.org. You may contact VISTE at: 863.284.0828. For information about GiveWell Community Foundation, their website is: www.givecf.org. You may contact them at: 863.683.3131.

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