Ambassadors of Mercy Help Feed Community Care Families This Holiday Season

Ambassadors of Mercy Help Feed Community Care Families This Holiday Season

Mercy Home’s Ambassadors of Mercy were warmed by the spirit of giving as they packed and prepared meal kits for Community Care and Friends First families in anticipation of the holiday season.

Our Ambassadors are a select board of prominent men dedicated to advancing Mercy Home’s mission. By giving their time to prepare 108 meal kits, this team did just that, ensuring that over 84 families will celebrate Thanksgiving with nutritious, hearty, and satisfying meals—as all families deserve.

As the volunteering event began in the soccer building, board members and coworkers mingled and caught up with each other before getting to work. Just as the rhythm of lively music echoed throughout the building, board members and their guests found a rhythm with each other that made the meal packing process seamless and supportive. Smiles and encouragement kept spirits up as the night went on.

Meal kits included traditional Thanksgiving dishes such as nonperishable veggies, macaroni and cheese, sweet rolls, cranberries, and, most importantly, one fresh turkey for each family to savor on Thanksgiving Day. Ambassadors Chair Tim Cimaglio thoughtfully sourced packaging materials that would ensure these delicious ingredients would stay fresh as they’re transported to families in the coming days.

Additionally, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development Jim Marrese worked with Mariano’s for a significantly reduced cost of the turkeys and hams so that more families could be supported.

Still, coworkers used this event to mobilize initiatives that accounted for insecurities beyond the traditional fixing of a Thanksgiving meal.

“In addition, we’ve purchased 23 grocery gift cards for Community Care families who are either housing unstable or live too far away for a meal kit delivery,” explained Katie Keller-Smith, Community Care Director of Ongoing Programs & Supports and the organizer of this event.

“We also provided food safety tips and we will ask the volunteers to make a card to send along to the family,” said Director of Affiliated Constituencies Rita McGovern, further emphasizing Mercy Home’s comprehensive approach to caring for members of our community who are in need.

By providing Community Care members and their families with holiday meal kits, our coworkers are doing something that is central to the work they do: meeting people where they are at. Keller Smith explained that for many people, this means a little extra help around the holidays.

“I think a lot of people think of the holidays as this happy time, but it can also be a stressful time if you are low on funds and you need to host Thanksgiving for your whole family,” she explained. “Our hope is that this can bring that stress level down a little bit for our families to ensure they have some delicious foods to prepare for their family.”

She added that because our Community Care members are part of the Mercy Home family, it’s natural for our coworkers to want to reach out to them during the holidays.

Everyone who received the meal kits was very grateful, and some even came with thank you notes when they picked up their meals, saying that Mercy Home helped make the holidays special.

Keller Smith emphasized that it was a team effort amongst our coworkers to make sure all of our families received the groceries they needed.

“This is really a Community Care teamwide labor of love,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without every team member pitching in to make it happen.”

Community Care and Friends First families, though they don’t live within our doors, are beloved members of the Mercy Home family. And as a family would, we couldn’t be more excited to share our time and resources to provide not only a delicious meal, but also the opportunity to make wonderful memories on Thanksgiving Day.

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