Our March 2016 newsletter is arriving in email inboxes today. Enjoy!
We are stepping up our efforts this month to recruit more restaurants to join us. Our goal is to serve at least five more patients every month.
Part of this effort includes releasing a new feature on our website: an online restaurant enrollment form to make it even easier for restaurants to sign up. Every new restaurant that joins our program allows to us to serve meals to one more patient.
Do you own or work at a Rutland area restaurant that does not currently participate in the Dinners with Love program? Learn more about how our program works and the positive impact it has on the lives of hospice patients and their families. You can contact us with questions, or go ahead and sign up today. Or if you're a restaurant employee, you can share what you've learned with your supervisor.
Here's to spreading more food and love in Rutland County!
Photo Credit: Breakfast by George Redgrave/CC BY-ND 2.0
Dinners with Love loves to shop and dine local. But us rural folk know that we cannot always find what we need in town. Many of us turn to Amazon, and hope we we can support local outfits in the future.
Now, there's a way to shop on Amazon and keep some of your dollars in the community.
Try AmazonSmile. Amazon donates .5% of your eligible purchases to a nonprofit organization of your choice, which we hope is Dinners with Love. It has all of the same products as the regular Amazon site, and you use the same login credentials. You can even take advantage of Prime, if you're a member. Visit smile.amazon.com today to check it out.
We are thrilled to launch our new website today. We hope it captures the spirit and essence of Dinners with Love: a simple kindness to lighten the load, powered by outstanding hospice agencies, restaurants, volunteers, and donors.
What's different about this website from our old one?
We hope you enjoy!
Dinners with Love volunteer Regina Styles signs off every email with some wise words from Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet:
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."
It is no surprise, then, that Regina cheerfully stepped in in Spring 2015 to coordinate meal ordering and delivery in Addison County, even while nursing a broken bone.
Here is Regina’s story, in her own words:
And then there's the young single mom whose 12-year-old daughter ordered an Ahi Tuna Burger with blue cheese. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but we knew she'd end up scraping the cheese off. It's been an ongoing joke ever since.
I'm at the point now where I know everybody's individual tastes and limitations, so I can choose dinners for them when I need to. Without exception, all meals are received with huge appreciation.
And I'd certainly be remiss if I didn't mention the most important piece in what we do. The restaurants! The chefs that cook a meal early for us; give me their cell number to be sure they get the order; or add something extra to the dinner. And then they thank me!
I am so grateful for the extraordinary restaurants that donate their time, money, and love to our effort. We're all part of this incredible team, each of us in different roles, while sharing the same vision. I am truly so thankful that I can help carry that through.
Sheri Sullivan has a big heart. Volunteering and giving back have always been a part of her life. From a soup kitchen to a theater to an art studio and a thrift shop, many people have been the beneficiary of her generosity.
Sheri has also seen a lot of people in her life die. More curious about death than afraid of it, over time Sheri grew to see death as part of a cycle we all participate in—as something to be mourned but not feared or denied.
A few years after moving to Brandon, Vermont, in 1999, she was inspired to become a hospice volunteer—the perfect way to give back and show compassion for those going through a difficult time. The organization she applied to was in transition and not sure when they would do their next training. By the time they got in touch with Sheri some months later, she had just started a catering business and couldn’t do the training at the time.
Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to help, she suggested that, until she could take the training, she cook for people. The agency agreed to give it a try, and it was a wild success. “I don’t think any of us were prepared for how well this would be received,” said Sheri.
Sheri catered Jean’s memorial service, and at that event spoke with two of Jean’s friends about her idea to get more meals to more patients and families. “Why wait 5 years?” they said. And the two offered to help Sheri get it off the ground immediately. One of these women, Sherry Crawford, became a founding board member, along with Jean’s husband, Frank.
Dinners with Love was founded in 2009, and in 2010 it became a nonprofit. Sheri says there was some debate about the name at the beginning, but she was firm that “love” should be part of it. “I want to offer food that’s made with love and given with love, otherwise it’s just a meal,” said Sheri. “I’m glad we stuck with the name, because really, life is all about love.”
A simple kindness to lighten the load.