12.20.15 Marin IJ - WS in San Rafael delivers holiday greetings to homebound seniors-Erika ft.
4/21/2016 Whistlestop in San Rafael delivers holiday greetings to homebound seniors
Marin Independent Journal (http://www.marinij.com)
Whistlestop in San Rafael delivers holiday greetings to homebound seniors
By Stephanie Weldy, Marin Independent Journal
Friday, December 18, 2015
Seventyfiveyearold Rita Jones opened the front door of her
San Rafael apartment Friday afternoon for her routine Meals
on Wheels visit.
Not only did she get fruit, milk and a plate of braised turkey
with seared kale during the call, but she also got a bundle of
holiday greeting cards from community members she’s never
One card wished her peace and happiness. Another, from a
local Girl Scouts participant, featured a handcrafted winter
scene with a snowman made of cotton balls.
Jones, who is paralyzed on the left side of her body and uses a wheelchair to get around, said the cards let
her know she’s not forgotten.
“It’s nice knowing someone cares about you like this,” she said.
This is the fourth year San Rafaelbased Whistlestop has collected greeting cards from members of the
public to give to homebound seniors they serve through the meal delivery service, Meals on Wheels. The
cards are a way to bring a little bit of joy to clients, Whistlestop officials said.
“They’re home by themselves, a lot of time maybe no one is coming to bring them cards,” said Erika
Vaughn, Whistlestop’s Meals on Wheels program supervisor. “It’s just the happiness and the joy that
someone would care enough to bring them Christmas cards.”
The senior center put out the call to the community seeking signed cards for 250 senior clients they serve
through Meals on Wheels. Thirty disabled Marin residents, under the age of 60, are also served through
the program through Meals of Marin. This year, the senior center received more cards than last year, with
roughly 2,800 cards coming in from local Girl Scouts troops, and students from San Rafael High School
and Marin Country Day School. Each senior is to receive 10 cards. Home Instead Senior Care also
donated 50 gifts, ranging from throws, scarves and more, to be given to the seniors.
As Vaughn distributed cards, along with meals, she was greeted with a tight embrace, and a kiss on the
cheek by one client. After handing two bags to the senior, she was handed a gift in exchange. The cards
the client received will be placed around her San Rafael home to make it a bit more festive for the
holidays, she said.
Jones said she’s been receiving the cards through the program for a few years. With cards from last