Hundreds of Seniors Enjoy Thanksgiving with Volunteers from DOROT

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Volunteers and Elders Return Year After Year to Participate in Intergenerational Celebration

DOROT's Thanksgiving Banquet 2013

DOROT has given me more good quality in my life and has a very worthwhile spot in my heart. They do a lot of good.

Despite frigid temperatures,DOROT, a social service agency dedicated to alleviating social isolation among older adults, united young and old to celebrate Thanksgiving.

For the 33rd year, DOROT hosted its annual Thanksgiving Banquet, in which 290 seniors, many in their 80s and 90s and one who was 100 years old, were served a traditional turkey dinner by 161 volunteers of all ages. The volunteers also socialized with the seniors, and, if the seniors were able, danced with them to the music of a live band. Guests were greeted by elected officials – Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller John Lui, New York City Council Members Gale Brewer and Jessica Lappin, and New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal. The program also included a performance by Kol DOROT, DOROT’s senior chorus, and HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir.

Earlier in the day, 150 homebound seniors also took part in the Thanksgiving celebration, welcoming into their homes another 193 volunteers who delivered full turkey dinners and Chanukah packages—and remained for an uplifting holiday visit. This program, an annual highlight for seniors and volunteers, provides food and friendship for many older adults who would otherwise be alone for the holidays.

DOROT marked not only the coming Thanksgiving holiday, but also the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, which begins on Wednesday night. DOROT commemorated the dual holiday at the end of the Banquet by presenting every senior with a gift bag containing Chanukah candles, chocolate gelt (coins), dried fruit, and holiday cards from donors and young volunteers.

After visiting a homebound senior, one volunteer said “These holiday gift packages are so thoughtful and mean a great deal to the clients and to the volunteers. It is all very well organized and I look forward to the next delivery.” A frail senior who attended the banquet with the help of a volunteer escort, and who has been involved with DOROT for over 10 years, said, “There’s nothing missing. Although it is very cold outside, there is so much warmth here; everyone is outgoing and very caring. DOROT has given me more good quality in my life and has a very worthwhile spot in my heart. They do a lot of good.”

Since 1976, DOROT has worked to alleviate social isolation among the elderly and provide services to help them live independently as valued members of the community. We serve the Jewish and wider community, bringing the generations together in a mutually beneficial partnership of elders, volunteers and professionals. Visit for more information.

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Catherine DiTuri
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