In time for the Thanksgiving holiday, volunteers from Tucson Electric Power and Tucson Medical Center took time out to deliver meals to hospice patients and their families. Travelling all over the city to bring a little comfort to those among us who are facing loss is something that TEP volunteers have been doing to give back for 35 years.
The effort first started with an envelope. In the early eighties, a TEP employee decided to give back – and passed an envelope around the office to gather donations to purchase holiday meals for hospice patients. The envelope quickly filled and volunteers immediately started lining up.
In the last three decades, the effort has really grown. What they are doing is impressive, but why they are doing it is inspiring.
“It’s a real pleasure to bring light to the patients and families,” said Ron Blackburn, a TEP employee who oversees the holiday meal efforts. “You never know what will happen in life, and we want to do something meaningful for people in need.”
Ron admits that he and his volunteer crew get a lot out of the effort, and maybe that’s most inspiring of all. “It’s a great feeling to see the big smiles when we deliver the meals – we really feel like we’re bringing joy.”
TMC is a proud non-profit partner in this effort to support hospice patients and their families. “It’s wonderful to be a part of helping our hospice patients that either can’t afford a thanksgiving meal or don’t have the energy or resources to put together a meal,” said Krista Durocher, volunteer coordinator for Peppi’s House – TMC’s hospice program. “I just love to see it all come together.”
Thanks to the generosity of TEP volunteers, many southern Arizona families received a lovely holiday meal complete with a fully-cooked whole turkey, side dishes and of course, rolls. Without the stress of shopping for and preparing the meal, these families will have more time for the most important part of the holidays, being together.