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Holiday lunch keeps seniors in the spirit

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Sgt. Ted Sauls dishes up plates during a senior holiday luncheon at the Drew Steele Center, Thursday.

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By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Friday, December 7, 2018

Police officers, firefighters and a host of other volunteers worked overtime Thursday to make sure area senior citizens knew they were not forgotten during the holidays — and the seniors said it was good to be remembered.

The volunteers started out the day by delivering 100 meals to families selected by the Salvation Army. Then many threw on aprons and served home-cooked meals to senior citizens at a special holiday luncheon hosted by the Greenville Humans Relations Council at the Drew Steele Center.

“This event is an opportunity for the city of Greenville Human Relations Council to actually show the senior citizens how much we care about them,” Joyce Mitchell, the council’s chairwoman said. “They have invested so much into our community over the years and this is a special time of year, a time of sharing, a time of giving, a time of showing love, and we want people to know though they may be seasoned in their ages, we still love them, we still think about them.”

Mitchell added, “The seniors feel really appreciative of what is happening today. So many times, we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, we don’t know what’s going on behind the doors. Some of the seniors may not have family members that take the time to say thank you, I love you. We want to do something for you. So the smiles on the faces and the comments they’re sharing with us letting us know that what we’re doing is having a great impact on them and their lives.”

For Glady’s Moore, 90, who lives alone, Thursday’s event gave her a chance to get out of the house and enjoy a good meal. 

“I like getting out of the house and getting this good food,” Moore said. “It means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means a lot to everybody else. It’s a nice meal, you get out of the house and associate and meet different friends.”

Theodore Wright, 67, who has been coming to the annual luncheons for three years, said he’s glad to know senior citizens have a chance to come together over a community meal. 

“We’re not forgotten and that’s the main thing,” Wright said. “A lot of people are a little up in age and have disabilities and stuff and sometimes they feel a little left out. Sometimes they can’t get out and this is a place for everybody to come and mingle.”

And with police officers and fire-rescue personnel serving the seniors, Mitchell said the event helps foster positive relationships between citizens and those who protect and serve.  

“It’s important to have them so that seniors will be able to develop a relationship with them and not be afraid if they show up at their door,” Mitchell said. “To see them outside of their normal roles arriving in the police cars with the blue lights going or the rescue truck, it allows for a different relationship, and bonding between senior citizens, law enforcement and fire-rescue.”

The meal consisted of a meat and vegetable plate, cake for dessert and sweet tea, and the food was purchased by the City of Greenville from The Seahorse restaurant.  

Around 140 seniors were in attendance at the event and prior to the meal, and officials also gave them holiday safety tips. Greenville Police officer Antonio Webb also sang for the guests.

“We are so happy to honor our citizens today. This is a time of giving and a time of loving one another,” Mitchell said.

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com and 329-9566.

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