Each year, patients of TAMC’s County Dialysis Center receive a Thanksgiving Dinner gift basket with all the fixings for their Thanksgiving meal.

This year, the number of dialysis patients and their families receiving their Thanksgiving meal was 45. According to Aron Chalou, manager of County Dialysis Center says,

“We have a special relationship with our patients, since we see them several times a week, usually for a period of years,”

“Our patients face a lot of daily challenges related to their health.  We are privileged to be able to know these individuals, and this is one small way we can make their lives a little easier.”

The Thanksgiving Give-Away Project is made possible through the generosity of TAMC employees and community donors.

The project is the designated “Casual for a Cause” effort at TAMC in October, so all funds raised in the month from employees who pay to dress down for the last Friday of the month, support this effort.

In addition to Casual for a Cause, the Turkey Baskets are funded through memorial donations.

Chalou says several families have named County Dialysis in their loved one’s obituary specifically because they wanted to support the Thanksgiving program this year.

“This is how these families show thanks for the care their loved one, and we appreciate it tremendously. This year, Causal for a Cause paid for about half of the cost while the remainder of the money came from the memorial donations."

A key community partner in the activity is Mike Gallagher, owner of Country Farms Market in Easton.

Sarah Ennis, Townsquare Media

He provides the bagged items for the complete meal, making several trips to the County Dialysis Center at TAMC’s North Street Healthcare in Presque Isle in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to deliver the frozen turkeys and bags filled with trimmings to employees, who in turn hand them out to patients.

In the 15 years since the turkey basket project began, more than 750 complete holiday meals have been given to County families with loved ones undergoing dialysis treatment.

In addition to this ongoing effort, the staff of TAMC’s Crown Emergency Care has partnered with the members of the Hayward-Frazier VFW Post 2599 and the Elks Club for the past five years to deliver hot holiday meals to veterans in local assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

The annual Veterans Thanksgiving Day Dinner Party was held at the Shrine Club in Presque Isle, and Crown staff were among those on hand to help serve community members and veterans who came to take part.

Crown staff also delivered meals to veterans living in the Presque Isle Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Leisure Gardens & Village, as well as to the individual homes of some veterans who are home-bound. Meals were also delivered to first responders who were on duty that day, including members of Crown, the Presque Isle Fire Department and the Presque Isle Police Department.

According to Travis Norsworthy, manager of Crown Emergency Care,

            “We have many veterans on our Crown crews, which makes it really personal to be able to give back and support causes such as this,” Our continued annual partnership with the local VFW post to deliver hot holiday meals to vets right here in our hometown is a rewarding undertaking that we feel is important for us to do.”