CW residents prepare meal for vets

November 26, 2008

Meal for Veterans

Nancy Kanter, director of activities for the nursing and rehabilitation center at Carleton-Willard Village, accepts a gift from Assistant Resident Manager for the Bedford Veterans Quarters Jerry Maker.

Bedford Minuteman

CW residents prepare meal for vets
By Chris Klingenberg / Staff Writer

Bedford, Mass. – Residents at Carleton-Willard Village are putting the word “giving” into Thanksgiving for the third year in a row.
Last year, there were about 25 residents from the assisted-living units, nursing center and Alzheimer’s center at Carleton-Willard Village who helped prepare a seven-course meal for veterans at the Bedford Veterans Quarters on the VA Medical Campus.

This year, there were about 40 residents that delivered the meal to 12 people who were chosen from a lottery last Wednesday evening.

“It is touching to see the residents finding joy in helping others even though they may be older and have health concerns of their own,” said Nancy Kanter, who is the director of activities for the nursing and rehabilitation center at Carleton-Willard Village. “It is nice to see the people have joy in the ability to help others and we hope that they can continue to have that joy.”

The seven-course meal included a 20-pound turkey, sausage stuffing, a seven-layer salad, mashed potatoes, beans with almonds, butternut squash, cranberry sauce and pecan, apple and pumpkin pies for dessert.

Residents worked vigorously all day to get the meal ready and presented it to the veterans at 4:30 p.m. Thanksgiving cards, pictures and decorations were also brought over so that the veterans feel like they were in a Thanksgiving environment.

“Around the holidays, people in nursing homes are usually the recipients of volunteer work so this opportunity to help people really makes our residents feel good,” said Stephanie Smith, who is the director of public relations at Carleton-Willard Village. “It is important for people to understand that you can volunteer and make a difference no matter what capabilities you may have. Giving to others is very important.”

With so many veterans interested in the meal there was a lottery to determine what 12 individuals would indeed attend the event.

“The Thanksgiving holiday itself is about giving to others,” said Kanter. “I came up with the idea to do this because I wanted the residents to feel that they are doing something for someone else. This gives the residents the opportunity to feel good about giving to others. It is satisfying for our residents to know that someone is enjoying a meal that they prepared.”