The true spirit of Christmas was alive and well inside the Meals on Wheels kitchen on 103 Avenue in downtown Edmonton Wednesday morning. Dozens of volunteers dressed in holiday outfits sang Jingle Bells and other carols while preparing hundreds of meals for the less fortunate and isolated members of our community.
For the last 40 years, Meals on Wheels has been a charity organization that provides approximately 140,000 yearly meals to people who are chronically disabled, living on their own and to seniors in the Edmonton community. The Oilers Octane were on hand to offer some holiday cheer and support the organization’s many volunteers who were preparing the meals for delivery.
Meals on Wheels’ Manager of Marketing and Fund Development, Kerryn North, understands the value of this annual holiday event.
“For a lot of our clients, the Meals on Wheels volunteers that they see daily are the only people they’re going to see that day and sometimes even that week,” said North. “If that person walks in with a smile on their face, a free turkey dinner and Christmas presents, that changes how your day’s going and it affects your health –which is really important for our clients. It’s great for the community to come together here and say to our clients that we haven’t forgotten about you”
During today’s event, volunteers from the community came together to slice, peel, chop, and prepare meals that will be given out throughout the holiday season. The Oilers Octane greeted guests, took photos and were there to support the volunteers who help make this operation a success.
“Meals on Wheels is such a great charity that offers so much for the people in our community who are feeling isolated and not as independent as they once were this time of year,” said Oilers Octane Laura. “We’re happy to be here helping out wherever we can. The holidays are such a happy time and we can spread the joy around—that’s what we do best!”
Also on hand to spread holiday cheer was Edmonton-Calder MLA Doug Elniski, who was wearing a bright red Santa suit with matching black boots and snow-white hair.
“It’s very, very nice to see everyone come together to do this for people who don’t have a lot of other things going on in their lives,” added Elniski. “These people need to feel community involvement, and our visits really make the day for a lot of people.”
As the morning progressed, the assembly line of volunteers continued to work like a well-oiled machine creating a mountain of packed meals ready to be delivered. With these deliveries, Meals on Wheels is providing more than just a hot meal; they are delivering a sense of community and Christmas spirit to those in need during the holiday season. To learn more about the Meals on Wheels organizations, please go to www.mealsonwheelsedmonton.org or follow them on Twitter @yegmealsonwheel. To receive up-to-date information on the Oilers Octane, please follow them on Twitter @OilersOctane.