This is One of Our Oldest Traditions. What's Yours?

Tradition is synonymous with the holiday season. Think about what holiday traditions are integral to your personal celebrations. Now, dive a little deeper — how many of those traditions revolve around food? Maybe it’s a turkey on the dinner table at Christmas or potato latkes sizzling on the griddle; chances are there is a special dish that you associate with this special time of year. Now, imagine that same holiday without it. Many of our clients face this problem while living in shelter. Many don’t have close family anymore or can’t afford the extra expense.

Since 1896, Volunteers of America has been ensuring hungry men, women, and children are not forgotten during the holidays. VOA co-founder Maud Booth and hundreds of volunteers would load up wagons of baskets brimming with holiday foods — turkey, potatoes, stuffing, relish, peas, pie, and milk for the children — and deliver thousands of baskets to the poor.

Over time the baskets of food were replaced with $25 food vouchers that can be used to purchase food in local supermarkets. Hope and Hearth Holiday Food Vouchers allow the recipients to purchase and prepare meals that are special to them, rather than having to rely on a food pantry or soup kitchen for their holiday meal.

Every year we receive a generous donation from the General New York Hospital Association to help fund this initiative, but with your help we could ensure that more of the individuals and families in our residences have a happy holiday despite their circumstances. We want to ensure that the hundreds of people we serve are able to recreate the meals that are the most special to them at this time of year. If you’d like to help, please visit our fundraising page for Hope and Hearth, and consider donating enough for a voucher or two.