BAYADA Home Health Care and Uptown Kitchen Partner on Hot Meals for Kupuna
A volunteer in a Santa hat knocked on Mary Silva’s door at dinnertime Friday. The 80-year-old opened it and was delighted to be given a hot shoyu chicken plate and a bag of personal hygiene items.
“I’m so glad to have something hot and delicious to eat tonight,” said Silva, who lives alone and said she has felt isolated during the pandemic. “Absolutely everything is different. People are afraid of this disease. I’m happy today somebody is thinking of us.”
Silva was one of nearly 50 residents of Hale Mahaolu Ekolu, a low-income housing complex for seniors and disable persons in Wailuku, to receive a hot meal and goodie bag.
The holiday goodwill effort was a collaboration of BAYADA Home Health Care, which provided the bag of personal hygiene (including homemade masks by a physical therapist) and the volunteers, and Uptown Kitchen and Food Mart, which prepared and donated the food.
Uptown Kitchen in Wailuku previously had donated meals for “Hero Lunches” for health care workers at BAYADA Home Health Care.
The residents were given flyers about the distribution last week. Rebecca Tremblay, Rehab Manager at BAYADA, said a woman called Friday saying: “Sweetheart, can you come back? I think I missed my lunch.” Tremblay told the woman “We’re on our way.”
One woman was so appreciative she wanted to give a donation.
The 11 volunteers pulled carts with the food and bags around the complex, bringing smiles to everyone they encountered.
“I really appreciate this,” Jim Wellsand, 72, told the volunteers as they left.
He also couldn’t wait to see what was in the goodie bag. He pulled out masks, hand sanitizers, pens and what he called “an old person’s ball.” He then began squeezing the red therapy ball that helps relieve stress and muscle strain.
Frank Torres, 64, also thanked the volunteers as they left. When he mentioned he was going to share the shoyu chicken with his wife, the volunteers returned with a second meal.
“This is really nice,” he said. “Thank you.”