More than 350 Perry-area senior citizens received a special delivery of love Wednesday in the first Perry Lutheran Homes Deliver the LOVE outreach event.
“The community response is just overwhelming,” said the Perry Lutheran Homes Marketing Director Mollie Clark. The Deliver the LOVE event, a successor to annual Meals from the Heartland, was originally scheduled for May Day 2020, Clark said. The pandemic postponed the plans but did not dampen the enthusiasm.
The basket packing and assembly started at 9 a.m. at the Perry Lutheran Homes’ Eden Acres Campus, with a fresh crew of 18 to 20 basket packers arriving every hour on the hour until 3 p.m. Basket-delivery teams started at 10 a.m., delivering the love within a 10-mile radius of Perry.
The morning shifts packed and delivered love baskets to more than 200 seniors in their homes, and the afternoon shifts delivered to the 150 residents of Perry’s senior communities.
“We are very grateful to all our generous donors and volunteers,” said the Perry Lutheran Homes Fund Development Director Wanda Pritzel. She said the love basket items and labor for packing and delivering were all donated by the community, from generous individuals and churches to civic groups and businesses. Love items included canned goods, fresh fruits, puddings and apple sauces, cookies, crackers, Hersey chocolate bars.
Pritzel said some 600 people aged 75 and older live in the Perry area, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, so 360 — more than 50% — were reached by the Deliver the LOVE event.