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PSR hosts ‘The 2021 Subaru Share the Love Event’

With the Christmas season bringing the shine of holiday decorations, the spirit of this time of year can be shown through local charity. For the sixth consecutive year, the Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging (PSR) has partnered with Meals on Wheels of America in The 2021 Subaru Share the Love Event.

Over the past 13 years, The 2021 Subaru Share the Love Event has helped deliver more than $2.5 million meals to seniors across America. Each donation from Subaru supports the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable seniors to continue living nourished lives in their own homes.

Meals on Wheels America provides to more than 5,000 community-based programs dedicated to fighting hunger and isolation among homebound seniors. Local Meals on Wheels programs such as PSR’s provide daily nutritious meals, nourishing companionship and critical safety checks to America’s homebound elderly people.

By participating in this event, PSR commits to this ongoing charitable project as part of the application process for the chance to receive a grant. Justine Young, CEO of PSR, discussed how the money from grants like this help PSR clients with replacing kitchen appliances like stoves and refrigerators, fixing roof leaks and making bathroom modifications.

To kick off the event, PSR began collecting items for its senior bags on Thursday, Nov. 18, at their office located at 1413 South Main Street in Farmville. People also joined together and celebrated with food, drinks and entertainment that evening as well.

Since there is no Subaru dealership located in the area, Young said PSR was given permission to partner with LetterPress Communications. LetterPress Communications, a Farmville-based public relations firm, will be the lead sponsor of this year’s event. Other key sponsors include FeedMore, Kinex Telecom, Southside Electric Cooperative, North Street Press Club and The Fishin’ Pig.

PSR set a goal to pack 700 bags for isolated, homebound older adults across Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.

Young commented, “As far as the community goes, I think (the event) raises awareness in the community about the problems we have.”

She also emphasized the hardships that the elderly citizens who will receive donations from the event go through, including one example of a woman who had to burn her dining room chairs to heat her home.

Thomas Jordan Miles III, PSR director of nutrition and transportation, said, “We know and have been told that often, this is the only gift they may receive during the holiday season, and we have seen how the ongoing COVID-19 has directly impacted the overall health of older adults.”

When asked about the community impact of the event, Young stated, “Things like this bring people together…and I think giving puts people in the Christmas mood.”

In addition to financial donations to purchase needed items for older adults, PSR also accepts non-perishable food items and toiletries, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand towels, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, hand sanitizer, small containers of laundry detergent, soap and blankets.

One of the unique donation items given was two trash bags filled with handmade scarves, knitted by a woman named Michele Rice, who attended the initial donation night.

Packing parties will occur in the following weeks at the office for PSR employees and local citizens who wish to help with the event as well. Just as PSR has done in previous years, items will be packed by staff and volunteers and then delivered during the week before Christmas in December.

However, due to the pandemic, people who bring donations and/or participate in any of the packing parties should wear a facemask and practice social distancing.

Miles said, “We will be, depending on the COVID-19 numbers, masked up and employing social distancing measures through this process, including during our packing event, which will be held in December at the former Habitat for Humanity ReStore location in The Shoppes at College Park beside PSR’s Office.”

For more information on the event or PSR, call Jordan Miles at (434) 767- 5588 or email jmiles@ psraaa.org.