Little Brothers looking for Thanksgiving volunteers

HANCOCK — Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is looking for volunteers to help with Thanksgiving, including home deliveries and its first sit-down dinners in three years.

Little Brothers has had home delivery only since 2020 due to COVID. In September, Little Brothers surveyed elderly friends and volunteers to get a sense of who wanted to come back.

“From the responses from both groups, we felt we were able to come back,” said Executive Director Cathy Kass-Aten. “It would probably be a small attendance for the sit downs, but there’s definitely people who are eager to come back.”

Response was positive enough for Little Brothers to bring back scaled-down celebrations at five sites. Kass-Aten said each site can probably have between 20 to 35 guests, depending on location.

Little Brothers is asking elderly friends to call ahead so they know how many guests to expect.

“People coming to the dinners won’t have to worry about overcrowding,” she said. “It’ll be spacious, but cozy.”

Sit-down meals will be held at 2 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Calumet, Church of the Resurrection in Hancock, St. Ignatius Church in Houghton, Holy Family in Ontonagon, St. Anne’s in Baraga and the Elks lodge in Marquette.

In addition to the Baraga, Ontonagon and Marquette sites, home deliveries will also be made out of C-L-K Schools in Calumet, Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton and Grace Lutheran Church in South Range.

Volunteers are still needed at all sites, Kass-Aten said. Defending on the site, help might be between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To find out what locations and shifts are open, people can contact Little Brothers at (906) 482-6944 or check online at register.littlebrothers.org.

They had delivered record numbers of home meals during COVID, both from existing friends and new referrals. With more people possibly traveling or having family visit, Kass-Aten wasn’t sure what those numbers would look like this year. But hot meal delivery numbers are still high, she said.

About 1,000 elders will receive dinners this year, about 800 of them receiving home deliveries, Kass-Aten said.

Kass-Aten said volunteers have been excited about the return of in-person meals.

“People have been saying, ‘We’ve been waiting for this. We’re ready,'” she said. “I think it means so much to everybody involved, whether you’re an elderly guest or a volunteer. And it’s so heartwarming to see how much it means to everybody.”

People who can’t volunteer their time can still donate online at houghton.littlebrothers.org, by contributing to Little Brothers through the Portage Health Foundation’s Giving Tuesday program, or by sending a check to Little Brothers at 527 Hancock St, Hancock, MI 49930.


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