HANCOCK — Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is looking for volunteers to help with Thanksgiving, including home deliveries and its first sit-down dinners in three years.
Little Brothers has only had home delivery since 2020 due to COVID. In September, Little Brothers polled elderly friends and volunteers to find out who wanted to come back.
“From the responses of both groups, we felt we could come back,” said executive director Cathy Kass-Aten. “It would probably be a small turnout for the sit-downs, but there are definitely people looking forward to coming back.”
The response was positive enough for Little Brothers to bring back scaled-down celebrations at five venues. Kass-Aten said each site can likely accommodate between 20 and 35 guests, depending on location.
Little Brothers is asking elderly friends to call ahead so they know how many guests to expect.
“People coming to dinner parties won’t have to worry about overcrowding,” she says. “It will be spacious, but comfortable.”
Seated meals will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Calumet, the Church of the Resurrection in Hancock, the Church of Saint-Ignace in Houghton, the Sainte-Famille in Ontonagon, Sainte- Anne in Baraga and at the Elks Lodge in Marquette.
In addition to the Baraga, Ontonagon and Marquette sites, home deliveries will also be made from CLK schools in Calumet, Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton and Grace Lutheran Church in South Range.
Volunteers are still needed at all sites, Kass-Aten said. Defend on site, help can be between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
To find out which locations and shifts are open, people can contact Little Brothers at (906) 482-6944 or check online at register.littlebrothers.org.
They had delivered a record number of Meals on Wheels during COVID, both from existing friends and new referrals. With more people traveling or having family visits, Kass-Aten wasn’t sure what those numbers would look like this year. But the number of hot meal deliveries is still high, she said.
About 1,000 seniors will receive dinners this year, of which about 800 will receive home deliveries, Kass-Aten said.
Kass-Aten said volunteers were excited to have in-person meals back.
“People said, ‘We’ve been waiting for this. We are ready,'” she says. “I think it means so much to everyone involved, whether you are an elderly guest or a volunteer. And it’s so heartwarming to see how much that means to everyone.
People who are unable to volunteer can still donate online at houghton.littlebrothers.org, by contributing to Little Brothers through the Portage Health Foundation’s Giving Tuesday program, or by mailing a check to Little Brothers at 527 Hancock St, Hancock, MI 49930. .