11/26/09 — Pikeville couple deliver smiles to seniors

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Pikeville couple deliver smiles to seniors

By Laura Collins
Published in News on November 26, 2009 7:01 AM

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Pett, left, and Jay Hare, of Pikeville, volunteer every Monday for Meals On Wheels. They deliver nine meals each week to area residents.

Emma Howell, 91, got a big surprise about two years ago when Meals On Wheels volunteers came to her house for their daily visit. This time when she opened the door, it was her daughter and son-in-law delivering the meal.

Jay and Pett Hare had just moved back to Pikeville, Mrs. Hare's hometown, when they began volunteering for Meals On Wheels. Every Monday, they deliver hot meals to elderly people living in Pikeville.

"My mom has been receiving the benefit of Meals on Wheels for several years now," Mrs. Hare said. "When I lived in Raleigh it meant so much to me because I knew that someone was going to her home five days a week to make sure she had a nutritious hot meal. And it also meant that she was able to go to the door and greet them. We decided that she had benefitted so much from the program that we wanted to get involved with it."

Both Pett, 65, and Jay, 68, said they have also gained much from their volunteer efforts.

"It means a lot more to us than the people we deliver to. We have a good relationship with these people, and they greet us with a smile every time we go to their home," Pett Hare said. "We see the benefit they get from it, and that makes us feel good."

Hare agreed.

"We feel like we are probably more blessed because we get to see how much they appreciate it. Often times they don't have anyone to help them out with that type of thing. We've been blessed with good health, and this is our way to serve our purpose and help someone else."

Kathie Fields, Pikeville town administrator, said the couple are an asset to their community.

"Their volunteer time has had a big impact in Pikeville," she said. "We were struggling to find people to volunteer and ever since they moved here, they've been volunteering every Monday."

Mrs. Fields said the Hares deliver nine meals in Pikeville every Monday which has helped lighten the load for other volunteers in that area.

"The town of Pikeville and the area surrounding appreciates each and every person that volunteers with Meals On Wheels," Fields added.

This Thanksgiving, the Hares said they are most thankful for their family and good health.

"I'm thankful for my mom," Mrs. Hare said. "At 91 she's still very alert and smiles every day and brings joy to my life. I'm also thankful for my spouse and my health."

The Hares said they hope by sharing their love of volunteering, it will encourage others to volunteer on a regular basis.

"We see the benefit that comes from it," Hare said. "We see the joy that it brings to others and the changes it can make in lives."