Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving meals to seniors

November 23, 2012 4:54:42 AM PST
Not everyone has a family to spend Thanksgiving with, but strangers stepped up to make sure they didn't miss out on a holiday meal.

More than 1,000 Houstonians awoke early to give on this day of thanks.

Wesley Stewart and his four-year-old son were two of the volunteers who delivered Thanksgiving meals to seniors in need.

"When we leave these people's homes, he's asking, 'why? Why did we deliver the food?' And I can help him understand that it's important to care about others," Stewart said. "And what I find is the next day, he's asking who are we going to give food to next."

This is the 25th year Interfaith Ministries' Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston program has orchestrated the event that brings Thanksgiving meals to more than 3,000 homebound seniors who often spend the holiday alone.

"I just think about the ones that lost their husbands or wives of family or something, and we just got to be a little sunshine in their day," volunteer Noni Miner said. "It makes me want to cry."

And once his cooler of food was loaded, Ajit Giani headed out to feed seniors for his ninth straight year.

"It's becoming more and more common. Kids don't live at home anymore. They leave and sometimes they don't seem to look back and see what the condition of their parents is, and sometimes elderly parents really do need their children to look into them," Giani said.

Giani's journey Thursday took him to a home in The Heights where two sisters live -- Betty Carter and Francis Jackson, one 88 the other 84. Both were grateful.

"Thankful to be alive, thankful for the health I do have," Carter said. "It's not the best, but a portion of it. I thank God for that and my family and my sister."

Giani says serving seniors is a way for him to display adoration for his own parents.

"Sometimes it is to show our gratitude," he said. "They raised us, they look after us when we were young and maybe it is our turn to look after them when they are elderly."

The Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston program operates year-round, serving homebound individuals across Harris County age 60 and older and their spouses. There is no fee for this service. Sign up by calling 713-533-4978.

For more information, visit www.imgh.org.

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