For many of us the holiday season is a time of joy-filled gatherings among family and friends, meals shared together around a table, and gifts exchanged under glittering lights. It is often a time of celebration, reflection, spiritual renewal, and aspirational commitments expressed in New Year’s resolutions. Like everything else this past year, this holiday season was different and many of the traditional celebrations simply were not the same. So, as we begin this New Year, where do you find your inspiration?
At VISTE we have the unique privilege of engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds. People whose generosity of spirit, and humble gratitude, provide inspiration for us every day.
Almost 2/3rds of VISTE’s 4,300 elderly clients live alone and struggle with social isolation. This past year has been particularly difficult, and that struggle is even more pronounced during the holiday season. In response, an army of VISTE volunteers lined up in drive-through style to pick up and deliver 1,800 Thanksgiving meals, each in a colorfully decorated bag. A live plant also accompanied every meal. Many calls were received from both clients and volunteers expressing their joy and gratitude over this meaningful Thanksgiving tradition. The holiday meals were great, but what people were most grateful for are the colorful bags, live plants, and human interactions.
The vast majority of VISTE clients also live on low or very-low fixed incomes. In response, our community came together to provide the resources needed to pack and deliver 400 boxes of personal care items, along with some specialized gifts for military veterans. As a result of our ongoing partnership with Home Instead (and with assistance this year from Carillon Lakes community), an additional 200 clients also received personalized Christmas gifts. Once again, phone messages were received filled with gratitude, sometimes tear-filled, and always moving.
Please know that your ongoing support of VISTE continues to improve the quality of life for our elderly neighbors. Our entire community benefits from being actively engaged in this outreach. If you’re having difficulty finding inspiration, I invite you to become more involved this coming year and see firsthand what a difference we are making, together!
Steve Bissonnette, President