United Church of Christ’s Cherry Arbors Residents Surprise Meals-on-Wheels Driver with Award

Ed Early is congratulated by Iva Sheets for receiving Cherry Arbors’ Community Member of the Year award.

Every weekday, Ed Early makes his way to Cherry Arbors, a United Church Homes affordable housing community nestled in Ohio’s heartland, to deliver meals to the 40 residents.

But that’s not all Early does for the tenants of Cherry Arbors, so they decided to surprise him with the Community Member of the Year Award for 2017.

The housing community in Champaign County’s North Lewisburg has been giving the award for the past two years. Early was a clear favorite of the residents, who said Early always has a smile on his face when he delivers their meals.

Early delivers meals through Meals-on-Wheels for LifeCare Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Columbus that provides an array of health and nutrition services to older adults and individuals with medical challenges or disabilities in central Ohio. As part of its services, LifeCare Alliance delivers meals to five Ohio counties each weekday.

It also provides resources to older adults as they navigate life’s challenges. Consistency is a key component of the program as drivers get to know clients who in turn trust in them to help.

United Church Homes, based in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving 4,700 residents of all faiths in 72 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Thanks to United Church Homes for this story.

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