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Helping hands - Greater Lawrence Family Health Center distributes 100 turkeys to patients in need

One hundred senior patients receiving care through the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will have a happier Thanksgiving holiday after receiving a food donation from caregivers and several other local organizations Monday.

Mary Lyman, director of community relations for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, said Braintree-based home health care service Vitra Health approached GLFHC with the donation of 100 frozen Butterball turkeys to give away just in time for Thursday's holiday.

GLFHC's community support team identified senior patients who could most benefit from the meal, and turkeys were distributed Monday morning outside the clinic location inside Winthrop Avenue's Plaza 114.

"We're eternally grateful to Vitra Health for reaching out to us and their desire to help our patients," said Lyman. "How they treated our patients was amazing."

Vitra Health CEO Max Voshchin, along with community development team members Doel Lopez and Karina Abreu, joined GLFHC's Edder Mora and Wanda Moya from that group's community support team to distribute the turkeys in a contactless, drive-through fashion, Lyman said.

The Kindness Collaborative, a group of Merrimack Valley residents that mobilized on Facebook during the coronavirus crisis to do good deeds for neighbors, donated bags of sweet treats for desserts.

Despite Monday's winds and heavy rain, the distribution effort went better than expected, according to Lyman.

"People were so kind and sweet. One person thought he had to get out of his car with his cane (to get the turkey) and we told him 'We got this,'" Lyman recalled. "There's so much going on around us sometimes that we forget how much the simple things like giving a turkey can mean. To see the challenges some people have to get through the day is unbelievable, and to be able to offer a turkey is so nice. To see Vitra Health treat our patients like kings and queens with such kindness was wonderful."


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