The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 26, 2013

Volunteers bring a brighter Thanksgiving

OTTUMWA — For older residents alone on Thanksgiving, Thursday may bring a meal and a short visit. For some, it'll be the only person they see that day.

Around 400 people in the community call the Salvation Army of Ottumwa the day before Thanksgiving. They're able to schedule a delivered holiday dinner. But it's more than that, said the site supervisor there for Meals on Wheels.

"We have excellent volunteers that come out that day," said Karen Cooper. "We couldn't make this happen in time without them."

Most days, Cooper and her staff will deliver 150 meals, or 200 on a busy day. So twice that amount takes a lot of work. But the volunteers are usually willing to take a few extra minutes to chat with a resident who doesn't get the chance to socialize much.

"A lot of [volunteers] bring their kids, their families with them. For some older Ottumwans, they may not get to see many children, and that especially brightens their day. The volunteers come back with such heartwarming stories."

"Some folks, that program is their only contact with anyone Monday through Friday," said Salvation Army Captain Ruth Gibbons.

Cooper said human interaction is a valuable part of the program. But the food's not bad, either, she added.

"We have very good cooks," she said.

In fact, that was her explanation when she mentioned the cooks and volunteers will serve three times the number of visitors to the Salvation Army dining room, from 70 on a busy weekday to 250 on Thanksgiving.

Gibbons said they've been blessed this year: They have enough volunteers for this function. The volunteers aren't the only helpers from Ottumwa, she added.

"The Salvation Army gets [assistance from] a community effort," she said. "A lot of the desserts are provided by people who call every year."

But there is room for a few more at the table for dinner at the Salvation Army, which does not require a reservation, or for home delivery, for reservations are requested.

The Salvation Army is at 725 W. Second St, and their number is 641-682-7597.

— To follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter, see @CourierMark

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition