Employees at The Gardens at West Shore recently took time off from their regular jobs to give back by providing hot meals to Harrisburg’s homeless population.
With the help of employees, the volunteer group prepared over 60 meals for distribution. Each meal, prepared by the facility’s chefs, included a grilled hot dog and hamburger, macaroni, fresh salad and a cold bottle of water.
The group’s first destination was to the Bethesda Mission at 611 Reily Street, Harrisburg’s only homeless shelter for men. Bill Christian, Executive Director at the shelter thanked The Gardens at West Shore for their generous meal donations, adding, “Your actions here today have done more than just fill empty stomachs. You’ve shown us all that people do care, and that gives there is hope.”
After making several deliveries on the streets of Harrisburg, the group headed “under the bridge”, that is, under the Mulberry Street Bridge. The vehicular crossing, spanning Cameron Street and Paxton Creek has long been a refuge for dozens of local homeless and displaced peoples. “To be honest, I’ve heard about the situation “under the bridge” from time to time but nothing could prepare me for what I saw, it was heartbreaking”, said, Amber Hauck, the facility’s Community Liaison, and spearhead of the initiative. “Each individual had a name and a story to tell – we were all humbled by the appreciation we received.”
“The Gardens at West Shore strives to be good a neighbor and encourage our employees to give back when they can in meaningful ways,” said Beverly Fry, Administrator at the facility, “We firmly believe that as our staff engage our local communities, these experiences help them better understand the individuals we serve – it is this understanding that fosters empathy and compassion, both of which, we view as essential elements of quality care.”