Thanksgiving In July - We Are Thankful for our Seniors
By Mimi Williams
Thanksgiving came early this year for the residents of the Silvercrest Senior Residence in Escondido thanks to The Salvation Army. On Friday July 24th, the chefs at The Salvation Army Escondido Corps whipped up hot, festive plates of turkey with all the fixings, including mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and a dinner roll.
Escondido Corps officer Lt. Denise Litreal and her team went door-to-door to each apartment in the senior residence, hand delivering the Thanksgiving meals to 72 surprised and happy seniors. “Our seniors need to know we love them and thank God for them” said Lt. Litreal. Along with the meals, seniors received activity packets & crayons provided by the Escondido Silvercrest Service Coordinator, Angela Windham.
Lt. Litreal came up with the idea to celebrate "Thanksgiving In July - We Are Thankful for our Seniors" as a way to lift the spirits of seniors who have begun to feel the impacts of social distancing due to COVID-19. “I've watched some of the residents in recent weeks become a bit downcast as COVID seems to be never-ending. So, I had the idea to make Thanksgiving in July to encourage them.”
Thanksgiving traditionally serves as a time to be grateful for our many blessings and to give thanks for the people around us. The idea to celebrate the holiday early acts as a much-needed reminder to the residents that they are loved.
Seniors have disproportionately been hit hard during this pandemic due to being in a higher-risk category. Lt. Litreal says many seniors have chosen to stay inside their apartments since March, to reduce the risk of infection. The Salvation Army Escondido is working closely with Windham to increase the care given to these seniors by delivering meals 3 times a week.
These deliveries have touched the hearts of the Silvercrest residents. They are much more than food—they are contact with another person who cares.
“Some of the residents have had tears in their eyes when I've come by to hand them a to-go style meal or a box of groceries.”
In these unprecedented times, it is now more important than ever to be kind and look out for the well-being of others. Lt. Litreal continues to Do The Most Good. “I can't change the world, but I can change the world these lovely people live in, even if it's just one food box at a time.”