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Detroit Holiday Meals on Wheels & DTE Energy Deliver Bright Smiles with Warm Hearts for Christmas
Detroit Area Agency on Aging “Holiday Meals on Wheels” Partners with DTE Energy Foundation to Bring Together 1,500 Volunteers to Help Homebound Seniors
This Christmas, approximately 5,600 homebound seniors in Wayne County will receive a hot, fresh dinner through the work of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) and the DTE Energy Foundation, which is donating $30,000. Additionally, through the support of DTE Energy and its 600 volunteers, the DTE Care Corps, each senior will also receive a cozy, warm, red fleece blanket.
DAAA’s Holiday Meals on Wheels program themed this Christmas “Bright Smiles and Warm Hearts,” provides a holiday meal and blankets to homebound seniors in Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods, Hamtramck and Highland Park.
“We love helping to make Christmas morning special for our seniors with our Holiday Meals on Wheels program; it’s heartwarming to continue to serve this vulnerable but most important population,”
The DTE Energy Care Corps volunteers will join hundreds other volunteers from corporations, businesses, churches, sororities, fraternities and various organizations who will pack, distribute and individually deliver fresh-cooked, hot nutritious meals to metro Detroit homebound seniors.
The process takes two days. On Wednesday, December 23 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., the volunteers will pack the cold portion of the meals such as the fruit juice, milk, fruit pie, and roll. All the packing of meals will occur at Valley Services, 1980 Bagley in Detroit, at the corner of Rosa Parks Blvd. (old 12th Street) south of Michigan Avenue, near old Corktown. On Christmas day, Friday, December 25, volunteers will pack the hot portion of the meals: chicken with apple raisin glaze, whole sweet potatoes with glaze, green beans with red peppers beginning at 6 a.m.
The meals are prepared by Valley Services, a national food services company, in their USDA-certified kitchen and are distributed to ten community sites plus two Detroit DTE Service Centers: Warren Service Center, 7940 Livernois; and Caniff Service Center, 1201 Caniff.
New this year during cold-pack on Wednesday, Dec. 23, The Word Network Radio Superstar 910 will broadcast live from the facility during the “On Point with Ralph Godbee” show from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. “At this time of year, people are in the giving spirit and excited to help seniors. As the volunteers pack the meals, music is playing in the background and the atmosphere is cheerful and festive,” said Bridgewater. “The Holiday Meals on Wheels program runs like a well-oiled machine. We have a lot of fun; we love sharing warm hearts and bright smiles with our seniors.”
“Watching the teams of volunteers work to help others really reminds you that Detroit is very generous and cares about our seniors. This is what Christmas is about – helping others because hunger takes no holiday. Everyone makes a sacrifice to get up early on Christmas morning to make sure the seniors are served their hot meals and warm blankets from DTE by noon,” said Bridgewater.
DAAA, DTE Care Corps and community volunteers will prepare thousands Christmas holiday meals over two days.
“The DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to help pack and deliver nearly 10,000 meals to our seniors in Detroit and surrounding areas, who depend on the generosity of companies and employee volunteers such as ours to get a hot meal around Christmas," said Faye Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs, DTE Energy, and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "It's truly rewarding to give back, and I am especially proud of the commitment that more than 400 of our employees and their families have made to take the time to support Detroit Holiday Meals on Wheels, and spread the spirit of the holidays in the communities where we live and serve.”
The federally-funded Meals on Wheels program provides meals to homebound seniors in Detroit, the five Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods, Hamtramck and Highland Park - but meals are not provided on holidays and weekends.
“We know that hunger takes no holiday, that’s why the Detroit Area Agency on Aging sells holiday cards for $5 each to deliver a complete freshly-prepared hot nutritious meal to seniors on holidays,” said Bridgewater. “With the help of corporate sponsors – like DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund and UAW Ford, the community and DAAA employees – thousands of dollars are raised to purchase the meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Labor Day each year.”
To make a donation to the Holiday Meals on Wheels Card campaign to help seniors, make checks payable to: Detroit Meals On Wheels, 1333 Brewery Park Blvd., Detroit, MI 48207. You can also call (313) 446-4444 or make a donation via PayPal online via http://www.DetroitSeniorSolution.com/
DAAA, whose mission is to promote healthy aging and enhance the quality of life for older adults, is a private nonprofit agency established in 1980. DAAA serves approximately 136,000 older adults age 60 and over and caregivers residing in the City of Detroit and metropolitan areas annually. For further information call (313) 446-4444 or visit www.detroitseniorsolution.com
(Editors’ Note: Media have the opportunity to visit the Valley Services kitchen and the DTE distribution sites for interviews and images)