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Volunteers help with REACH meals

December 09, 2008

WILLIAMSPORT - Administrators and staff at Williamsport Retirement Village have been cooking and serving dinner at the REACH Cold Weather Shelter in Hagerstown during the winter months for almost 10 years.

Administrator Timothy Berry and Chaplain Josephine Benton began the outreach and have passed it on this year to Jordyn Shifler, director of communications, and two members of the Williamsport Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Since this is Shifler's first year, she said she is striving to find different ways for Williamsport Retirement Village to be involved with its residents.

Shifler said she and the director of life enrichment at Twin Oaks Assisted Living planned a week in which staff and residents would prepare and package lunches for the shelter.

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Each day, the shelter was contacted to determine the number of lunches needed. The lunches were prepared and packed, then were delivered each evening for the following morning.

"When our residents came to help put lunches together, they had asked why we were doing this," Shifler said. When she told them about the REACH Cold Weather Shelter, they had never heard of it.

Shifler then told them about how REACH and volunteers provide meals and a place for the homeless men and women of Washington County to sleep. She said the residents were excited that they were taking part in the effort.

"They were delighted to take part in this new project and wanted to know what they could do to help in March, when we are scheduled to serve dinner for one week," Shifler said.

REACH is for those in Washington County who are in need of shelter.

"At Williamsport Retirement Village, we believe in the importance of our mission to touch people's lives, and REACH provides an excellent outlet for residents of Twin Oaks to step out in the community and make a difference," Shifler said.

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