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    Unexpected Volunteers Deliver More Than a Nutritious Meal

    More than 1,300 seniors in Staten Island await every one of their regular Meals on Wheels deliveries and friendly visits with great anticipation. For many of them – especially during the pandemic – the volunteer that visits them provides the only human contact they will have all day or all week long. So, with anticipation already dialed-up, imagine their incredible surprise when some answered the knock on their front doors one day last Fall to find their volunteer dressed as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade clown, toting balloons and confetti – not to celebrate the holiday, but to celebrate them by bringing the Macy’s Parade to their doors.

    One of the lucky seniors visited by Macy’s Parade clowns was Julia McKinney who told us, “I wasn’t expecting all this! I just really appreciate the help that they do, Meals on Wheels. They are very nice people.’' She further noted that the costumes were beautiful as she joyfully interacted, at a safe distance, with the clowns on her doorstep.

    The parade was not only special for the seniors, it was meaningful for the volunteers dressed up as clowns. One long time volunteer, Susan Reilly, told us, “Not a lot of attention is brought to the senior population, and they become family. It’s a very close-knit population that we get.” Volunteers like Susan deliver food and human connection, sometimes developing close relationships with seniors over time.

    Cheery clown visits were just one of the ways that Macy’s is working with Meals on Wheels America to bring comfort and support to millions of homebound, sheltering-in-place seniors during the pandemic. Their employees created over 1,800 handmade cards that were delivered with meals to seniors across the country to remind them that they are not alone. The major retail chain also ran a customer donation program that generated $1.9 million in donations to the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund. Over $31 million in grants from that fund were distributed to the frontlines to fight the virus in communities that needed it the most.

    And, Macy’s hasn’t stopped yet – and now you have a chance to join in the support.  During all of March, Macy’s is running its annual Bag Hunger campaign, benefiting the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund yet again. There are two easy ways to participate:

    1. and donate online when you make a purchase.
    2. Visit one of nearly 200 Macy’s stores around the country that are raising funds for Meals on Wheels, round up your purchase and donate the extra change, up to 99 cents.

    We all know it takes a village to support and protect our most vulnerable neighbors. Macy’s, working in partnership with Meals on Wheels America, is being a good neighbor to seniors in need.




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