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Traditional hot dinners hand delivered by Meals on Wheels volunteers made Christmas day that extra bit special for residents who would have otherwise spent the day alone.

“We really appreciate the efforts of those involved in making the Christmas Day delivery such a special occasion,” said Natasha Hammarstrom, Gippsland Lakes Complete Health’s volunteer coordinator in Lakes Entrance.

Local businesses and community members donated items for gift bags that were decorated beautifully by Bairnsdale Specialist School students and included cosmetics, calico bags, home-cooked treats, calendars, notepads and pens. Special thanks for donations must go to Terry White Chemists Bairnsdale, Riviera Quilters, Paynesville Craft Shop, National Australia Bank, Amcal Chemist Lakes Entrance, Department of Veteran Affairs, East Gippsland Newspapers, Lioness Club of Paynesville and Districts, Bendigo Bank Paynesville and East Gippsland Water.

GLCH staff and volunteers deliver over 16,000 meals a year through the Meals on Wheels program, 365 days a year. Volunteers give their time generously and come from all walks of life, age groups, professions and faiths. They include families with children, grandparents, retirees, school children, church groups and staff from local businesses.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a generous community that pulls together to make the Meals on Wheels service possible throughout the year and especially over the Christmas period,” said Janet Taylor who coordinates volunteers for GLCH in Bairnsdale.

The Christmas Meals on Wheels deliveries would not have been possible without the help of the volunteers Helen Gottschalk and family, Debbie Squires and friends, Les and Dawn Saligari, and Charlotte Dick who generously donated their time to deliver meals and gift bags on Christmas day.

If you would like to become involved in helping deliver meals in your local community, please contact Gippsland Lakes Complete Health directly. New volunteers are always welcomed.