Medway Housing Residents Benefit from Group Holiday Effort

J.D. O’Gara
The Medway Housing Authority worked to free up resources this year in working with the Medway Police Department Association, Medway Neighbor Brigade and Medway Senior Center to provide holiday meals – generously donated by Shaw’s and Medway Boy Scouts – to residents.  Contributed photos.
Issue Date: 
January, 2020
Article Body: 

Thanksgiving rings in the holiday season, and this past Thanksgiving, 60 residents of the Medway Housing Authority were able to enjoy the holiday tradition they might have missed out on thanks to a number of Medway folks working together.
“We really worked tog to figure out how to best serve our residents,” said Patty Der Garabedian, Resident Services Coordinator at the Medway Housing Authority. This year, the Medway Housing Authority worked with both the Medway Senior Center and the Medway Police Department Association, to thoroughly determine who was in need.
“Barbara, the manager at Shaw’s, and I worked really well together to come up with a plan where Shaw’s actually donated over 60 meals to our residents. She worked night and day to make this happen,” said Der Garabedian. Medway Boy Scouts also raised funds, she said, both troops, 108 and 367, and employees of Shaw’s even donated their own money to the cause.
The housing authority began by surveying residents, who are senior, low-income, or have disabilities, asking who might be interested in receiving a basket with all the fixings to cook their own dinner -- or who might be interested in a prepared meal.
“This was the first time we ever offered a prepared meal, where our staff went home and cooked the turkeys on their own, then we sliced those and distributed them to residents the next day,” she said.
The majority of distribution was frozen turkeys with the fixings, she said, but 25 individual meals were put together by Medway Housing Authority employees and board members, assembly line style, with Shaw’s providing prepared sides.
This year, der Garabedian said, agencies really worked together to make sure everyone in need was helped, and at the same time make sure the effort was streamlined and efficient, without a lot of duplication.
“What we’re really trying to do for these types of efforts, trying to connect with all the different agencies that serve Medway residents – the Neighbor Brigade, the Senior Center, the Police Department Association – we’re trying to narrow down who needs what, so services aren’t duplicated and we can put those funds where they’re needed,” said der Garabedian, who sat down with Chief Tingley, Medway Senior Center’s Kate Fennyery and members of the Medway Neighbor Brigade.
At the Local Town Pages deadline, a similar effort was underway for the Christmas holiday.