Volunteers help the elderly following snow storm

13News Now Niko Clemmons has the story

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- The ice and snow is finally starting to melt away, but during the past few days, many people were snowed in, including the elderly.

The storm cut off their access to food and other essential services.

But volunteers with the Peninsula Agency on Aging planned ahead of time to help out people in need.

For five days a week, volunteers brave just about all the elements, providing a number of services, including transportation and meals on wheels.

But in the last several days they’ve experienced a minor setback, snow.

Director of Community Services, Gerald Patesel, says the snow forced them to reschedule appointments, and they were unable to deliver meals on Monday and Tuesday.

However, Wednesday afternoon, volunteers were back out delivering more than 400 hot meals, and another box meal for the upcoming MLK holiday.

“It's what you get out of it at the end of the day because you know you helped someone out,” Patesel says.

Hattie Robinson is one of more than 400 senior citizens who look forward to seeing a smiling face knock on their door.

“I look for them between 11 and 12 to come to that door,” Robinson says. “My grandson can’t cook so at least I had something to eat and I appreciate them.”

Last Friday, before the snow even touched down, volunteers went out and delivered not just meals for that day, but a meal their clients could enjoy for Monday, since they knew there would be too much snow still on the ground.

“Not the first time, so we're used to doing things on the fly,” Patesel says.

Volunteers served 143,000 meals last year, and they hope to keep up the pace in 2017.

Robinson, as well as many others, are thankful tonight for the kindness of others.

“When your spirits are down because of illnesses and you can't get out and do things, God sends someone to help and I think God sent them to help,” Robinson says.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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