"I remember this as vividly as if it were yesterday. I tried to call my mom as often as possible between my visits to see her in her last months. The miles between us were very difficult - she was at home in Brandon, I was in North Carolina.
The evening after she had received her first Dinners with Love, the joy that came through the phone was palpable!
Throughout her illness she had routinely pushed away help, yet somehow the Dinners with Love program had been able to enter her life. Perhaps she had intuitively understood the positive and lasting affect it would have on both of us, or perhaps it was the idea of delicious food. It was both!
The meals provided normalcy of good food, which she was no longer able to make, thus she always ate with relish. Dad did, too! But almost as importantly it also brought love and care into her home by the anticipation of each delivery. Every time I would call her after that first delivery, the love I heard was truly joyful.
Mom passed many years ago, and Dinners with Love is still fresh in my mind. So much so, whenever I can spare a few dollars I send it their way. They are truly angels in an otherwise dark world of a loved one passing."
When Glynis Jordan's mother Carolyn J. Harris was receiving hospice care, Dinners with Love volunteers delivered meals to her home. Glynis recently wrote to us to share how much our program meant to Carolyn, and the lasting impact it has had on her own life. She writes:
Thank you to Glynis for sharing this beautiful story with us. We are honored to have been part of her mother's end-of-life transition.
Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have. And now we have a chance to be a part of Vermont's day of giving - an opportunity to unite our community around causes in which we truly believe and help nonprofit organizations connect to the larger community.
We need your help! Please join our campaign and help us reach our goal of $500. We need you to tell your friends and family members about the important work we do and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference.
Get ready to give! Starting at 6:00 p.m. on June 7, visit https://www.vermontgives.org and make a donation to us and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in our state. You will have 24 hours to make your donation, and all giving will end at 6:00 p.m. on June 8.
Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, let us know. Thank you in advance for your generosity to our organization!
We love to hear from hospice patients and families whose lives have been touched by the Dinners with Love program. We recently received a note from a recipient who shared with us how much the program has meant to their family. This person writes:
Dinners with Love means a special meal prepared by people loving and generous enough to provide a special treat to us who aren't able to get out. It means a special meal delivered by a wonderful, generous person who is willing to give of his or her time, to be selfless and cheerful and brighten my day. Always a pleasure.
Thank you to the volunteers and restaurants who make this happen every week!
Dinners with Love is proud to partner with Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice to bring food and comfort to hospice patients and their families. You can help us by becoming a hospice volunteer.
How? Join Caledonia for training on Saturday, April 29, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice. Register by calling 802-748-8116 x1124 or x1158.
Once you complete the training, you will be eligible to support the Dinners with Love program, or help hospice patients and their families with any number of activities:
Dinners with Love hosted Comfort Food for a Cause on Sunday, April 2, 2017 in the beautiful and spacious Castleton University Campus Center in Castleton, Vermont. The evening included delicious comfort food, music by DJ Bill Moore, door prizes, a raffle, and the "Comfort Corner." We are thrilled to share that Dinners with Love received more than $7,600 to spread food and love in Vermont and beyond.
Comfort Food for a Cause brought many wonderful people together. Hospice nurses, staff, and volunteers mingled with families whose lives have been touched by the Dinners with Love program. Dining on delicious comfort food prepared by local restaurants, they communed with new and long-time friends and supporters of our organization. A particularly lucky bunch won prizes donated by local and regional businesses.
In this view, Comfort Food for a Cause was much more than a fundraiser. It was an opportunity to strengthen our connections and expand our community.
We are incredibly grateful not only to those who attended Comfort Food for a Cause, but also to the numerous individuals and businesses who made our event a resounding success. They donated food, prizes, event supplies, and their time. Check out the complete list of our generous partners.
What happens when comfort food meets comfort fashion? You get to see the spirit of kindness and generosity at work in your community.
Thank you to our friends at Mexicali Grill & Cantina in Williston, Vermont for hosing another fun, fashionable fundraiser to benefit Dinners with Love.
LuLaRoe consultants Jes Clegg, Liz Whitmore, and Jess Tomkowicz were on hand to help shoppers put together beautiful looks. All three women generously contributed 10% of their sales to help spread food and love to more hospice patients and their families in Vermont.
Between the raffle, breakfast buffet, and clothing sales, Dinners with Love received $681 from our community. Thank you!
The monthly reports are in, and the numbers have been crunched. May we have a drumroll, please?
In 2016, Dinners with Love volunteers drove 15,959 miles to deliver 2,974 meals donated by 61 local restaurants to hospice patients and their families. These volunteers donated 1,146 hours of their time.
This means that Dinners with Love volunteers have delivered 7,291 meals since our founding 2009. That is enough to feed one person dinner for nearly 20 years.
Thank you to our volunteers, partner hospice agencies, participating restaurants, and donors for making all of this possible.
This past Saturday, January 14 our friends at Mexicali hosted a LuLa Roe Pop-up Boutique and Breakfast Buffet to benefit Dinners with Love. Our Founder & President Sheri Sullivan and Treasurer Catherine Wall attended. They had a wonderful time meeting the community members who came out to support our organization.
Mexicali has donated $400 from food and beverage sales to Dinners with Love. A group of teens from the Mt. Independence 4H contributed an additional $150 from the raffle. The LuLa Roe consultants are tallying their sales, and will donate a percentage of their revenue in the coming weeks (we will keep you updated on the final total).
We so appreciate the kindness of Mexicali, Mt. Independence 4H, the LuLa Roe consultants, and everyone who attended the event. We are honored to be the recipients of your generosity.
Enjoy a morning of fashion and food! On Saturday, January 14, 9:00-11:00 a.m., our friends at Mexicali Grill & Cantina in Williston, Vermont are hosting a LuLa Roe fundraiser and breakfast buffet. LuLa Roe is a popular women's clothing line sold at in-home and online boutiques. We are honored that Mexicali has selected Dinners with Love to be the beneficiary of this event.
The pop-up LuLa Roe boutique at Mexicali will feature a $10 breakfast buffet, cash bar, silent auction, and a raffle with great prizes. All proceeds will benefit Dinners with Love. A percentage of the LuLa Roe sales will be donated to our organization, as well. We hope to see you there!
Breakfast Buffet Menu
Create your own breakfast bagel sandwich or breakfast burrito! The breakfast buffet will include scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, home fries, bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, tortillas, medium salsa, salsa fresca, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese, orange juice & apple juice.
Much of our enjoyment of certain foods comes from our memories of experiencing them. Whether the dish is elaborate or simple, gourmet or comforting, we remember it best by preparing and sharing it with others we love. And that is the basis for Dinners with Love: to spread food and love in our communities, and to offer hospice patients and their families just a few more opportunities to make fond memories together.
We at Dinners with Love recently thought about our favorite food memories, either from our childhoods or our recent adult years. We hope our stories inspire you to recall your favorite meals, places, and loved ones. If you have a fond food memory you would like to share, we invite you to contact us. You might see your story on the blog.
This is our second installment of stories. Read the first set here.
Jenn Brown, Board Member
I've always had a bit of a sweet tooth, and somewhere during middle school I encountered chocolate cheesecake for the first time. It was incredible! It became my go-to birthday cake for many years, and the extra special part was that it was made by my dad. Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust, Philadelphia Cream Cheese for the cake. It was the best. Now, a couple of decades later, I don't get to see my dad most birthdays, but for my 40th I asked a friend who is a baker to make me one and it was better than I'd even remembered.
One of my favorite food memories involves Paris. I planned a trip a few years ago based around a French food blogger I followed. She wrote a book called Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris, and I used it to plan a walking/food tour through the city. We walked from one gelato place to another, stopping to see spots I'd not seen before, like the Tuileries. We went to the Botanic Garden and had Moroccan mint tea and cookies at the tea room at the mosque next door. And we found the place with the best hot chocolate and ordered pots of 3 different kinds. It was as thick as molasses but much more delicious. It was an amazing trip, and a good thing we did lots of walking!
Linda Bryant, Board Member
I moved to Rutland in 2007, and met my best friends shortly thereafter. We started a tradition in 2009 that each time one of us has a birthday, the other two take that person to dinner at the restaurant of her choice. This means that three times every year, we go to a nice restaurant to have dinner. We almost always go to Applebee’s, Seward’s, or Ginger China in Rutland.
In 2013, I wanted to try something different. I chose the Inn at Long Trail for dinner and McGrath’s for great Irish music afterward. Given that my birthday is at Christmastime, it started to snow on the way up the mountain. We had a most amazing dinner at the Inn. I had a lamb dish, something I had not had in a long time; I had forgotten how wonderful it is. As planned, we went to the pub after dinner, where we listened to great music and drank ginger ale.
But the fun part came when it was time to leave! There was at least two feet of snow on the ground, with more coming down steadily. The trip down the mountain was harrowing, but we all made it home safe that night. We still often speak of and laugh about that evening.
Frank Finnerty, Board Member
My wife, Jeanne, who has been deceased for eight years now, was an amazing, self-taught executive chef for a large Boston-based financial firm. She would sometimes bring home the leftovers from the meals she served to the eight top executives. Every time I eat leftovers from a great meal now, it reminds me of her. Rest in peace, Jeanne.
Sheri Sullivan, President & Founder
It is difficult to pick just one favorite meal from childhood because I was luck enough to have a mom who was a great cook. Two of my favorites both involved seafood. One was macaroni with shrimp (the large, good kind that was readily available when I was a kid). The other was Campbell’s cream of mushroom. Simple, but delicious. We always had it with an iceburg lettuce wedge with homemade Russian dressing. I can still taste it. Another favorite meal was creamed salmon and peas on toast. I made it not too long ago, and it was wonderful.
A simple kindness to lighten the load.