Giving back to seniors on Thanksgiving
She couldn’t be with her daughter for Thanksgiving in Texas.
So, Bridgette Weiszhaar was happy to join a group of Truckee-area seniors and families Thursday at the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center for a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, served by an all-volunteer team.
A resident of the center, Weiszhaar has attended its past holiday dinners, finding old friends to chat with and share the feast.
“I really enjoy it, my daughter is in Texas, and I would be by myself if I was unable to come here,” Weiszhaar said. “It’s really nice to have this, to be with our friends and people we care about.”
For the sixth year in a row, volunteers headed up by Ann Graham from Sierra Bible Church cooked turkey and all the fixin’s for seniors in the community. Graham said it all started when the church found out that while Sierra Senior Services provides meals throughout the year, the center closes on Thanksgiving.
“We said, we can do that ” we ask for volunteers and food through our church,” she said.
All of the food served Thursday was donated, and the church had no shortage of volunteers. Graham’s husband, Scott, said the congregation usually recruits between eight and 15 volunteers.
“This year we were even getting cold-calls from the South Shore and from Reno, a lot more people are trying to give,” he said.
But this year presented new challenges after last winter’s damaging flooding to the senior center’s dining area, Ann Graham said.
Paul Valentine, 84, of Glenshire, said he enjoyed the chance to sit down and share a community dinner.
“I think what they do is excellent. Words can’t express our thanks to them,” Valentine said. “It’s just great they take this upon themselves.”
Valentine said having to travel to the old middle school site also makes it difficult for seniors.
“Without question, less seniors are able to come to Thanksgiving this year,” Valentine said.
Scott Graham said over the last six years between 18 and 28 seniors have attended the annual dinner. However, Weiszhaar said the Dial-a-Ride service has made it easier for seniors to get to the Thanksgiving meal.
“The bus brings us here, they don’t charge us ” it’s really nice that they can do that,” Weiszhaar said.
In the end, Scott Graham said the Thanksgiving dinner is all about giving seniors the treatment they deserve.
“The seniors have made their contribution and they deserve this,” he said. “We try to treat them as our own family.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Local coronavirus cases jumped by 107 over the holiday weekend, bringing the new total to 3,206.