Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) consumer Gladys, a senior from Everett, recently received an unexpected but joyous visit from her care manager Lindsay Dow. Lindsay delivered care baskets full of can goods, clothing, linens, games, books and other items that Gladys had on her “wish list” donated by a group of employees at Comcast, located in Malden.
“Gladys could not have been happier as she went through her care baskets,” explained Dow. “She was so appreciative and moved by the kindness and generosity of these people who have not even met her. Their compassion overwhelmed her.”
The group of Comcast employees have been involved in basket giving at MVES since 2005. The program involves case managers nominating an older adult served by MVES who they feel is in need of items for personal use and enjoyment. Since the case managers know the older adults they serve so well, they create a “wish list” of items they know they would like and use. Each wish list is unique to that elder. The Comcast employees then “adopt” and shop for these older adults, collecting items on the list ultimately fulfilling their wishes.
“It is the workers themselves reaching into their own pockets and going to purchase items for elders. It’s a grassroots effort on the part of the employees and their dedication,” says Jenny Vanasse, director of development at MVES. The employees work in the same building as MVES and are very aware of its work.
“We’re truly happy to do this for Mystic Valley’s seniors; it’s a bright spot for us,” said Karen Rienzo, Comcast employee, who has been involved with the program for 13 years.
They also have helped out MVES with annual holiday fruit baskets by putting them together and delivering them. They provide baskets for approximately 20 elders at Thanksgiving. According to Vanasse, it is estimated their in-kind giving has reached more than $13,000.
“We were very moved to see the multiple personal items so thoughtfully chosen to brighten the day of an elder in need,” said Lauren Reid, director of community programs at MVES.