When the Volleyball Club Nationals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic last month, our members were left with an empty feeling. Their season was cut short abruptly and the new normal had started.
A challenge from FVVC director Carol Hofer created a new initiative for Seaside. We embarked on a campaign to ask parents who were sending their kids to nationals to donate their refunded portion of their entry fee towards providing meals to hospitals. Thus our Meals for Hospitals campaign had begun.
"The program really took on a life of its own within a very short period of time" says Seaside President Shane Donen. "Momentum is an interesting phenomenum. While some families, understandibly chose not to donate, the majority contributed to the cause. We found several restaurant/food service companies to work with us including Mark Medalla (one of our directors), owner of the Delta Cobbs and Scott Bender (former SVC coach), owner of the Wok Box. These companies have stepped up to either match our contribution or comp additional meals. We couldn't have done it without them!"
The hospitals are truly appreciative of our “meals on wheels” donations. Their cafeterias are closed and they can’t get out to grab a meal, and even if they could, it is not safe for them to do so anymore. Many organizations are stepping up to help. "We are just one of many groups who are now helping out. But they need us and we are there for them. It’s what the village does. Helping out those in need."
To date, we have raised over $6,000 from over 60 individual families. We have delivered meals to Peace Arch and Delta Hospitals, with more deliveries planned. Surrey Memorial is our next major hospital project for early May. SMH is a COVID-19 hub with a large staff, but the goal is to meet their needs for meal delivery.
As a finishing touch, Maryanne Donen (one of Seaside's founding members) has been crocheting “thank-you hearts” for the hospital staff. So far Delta Hospital has been a recipient of 100 of them, with more to come for the other hospitals.
"Our meal delivery program to these three hospitals has had impact and meaning. They are truly thankful" says Shane. "Our hope is for our donations to carry us through for the months ahead."