A ‘warm seasonal gesture’: TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization and East York Meals on Wheels team up to surprise local seniors with holiday cheer

Man holding take-out food containers

The Integrated Services for Seniors team at TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization delivered 400 meals to local seniors in December.

When the Omicron variant led many seniors in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park to cancel their holiday plans in December, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization’s Integrated Services for Seniors program decided to bring some festive cheer directly to the homes of older adults.

On December 22, 2021, the agency partnered with fellow ETHP organization East York Meals on Wheels to deliver 400 meals to the seniors it supports. In addition to these halal- and veggie-friendly meals, local seniors also received an assortment of sweet treats and 2022 safe seniors calendars, which share information about fire safety, reducing the risk of slips and falls, and other helpful tips.

Sandra Cardillo, Manager of TNO’s Integrated Services for Seniors Program, calls the initiative a “warm seasonal gesture.” “When many of the seniors we serve told us that they’d be cancelling their holiday plans, we decided we wanted to surprise them with some cheer, regardless of if they celebrate Christmas or not,” she says.

And surprised many residents were. Pat Maurice, a Thorncliffe Park resident and member of ETHP’s Community Advisory Council, says she was met with a “smiling couple from TNO with holiday greetings.” “What a lovely holiday gesture which will provide a special dinner to many seniors in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park who are alone this holiday season,” Maurice says.

Cardillo says, in addition to bringing some festive cheer to the doorsteps of seniors, her team wanted to “give them hope for the New Year” and let them know that “we will get through this together.” “People expressed a lot of gratitude,” she says. “They said ‘Thank you for thinking of me; you didn’t have to.’”

This initiative was one of many programs organized by ETHP members to support local residents during the holidays.

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