Businesses and churches host Giving Trees for Meals on Wheels

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Meals on Wheels Rowan

Meals on Wheels Rowan is offering holiday ornaments to the public as a part of their “Giving Tree” celebration. The trees are located in 14 different locations around the county. Each tree is covered with small silver forks and spoons with tags. Signs invite citizens to take an ornament for their tree and make a gift to support home-delivered meals for homebound seniors and disabled citizens in Rowan County.

The idea came from Amanda Bartholomeo, the executive director of Meals on Wheels of Alamance County. She said, “the ornaments give us a chance to reach individuals we would not ordinarily touch with a mailing each year. Our year-end letter and the trees have been very successful for us, raising more than $55,000 in donations each year.”

Local volunteers Carol McNeely and Pat Murtaugh loved the idea and decided to put a Rowan County spin on it. Rather than buying small, artificial trees, McNeely and Murtaugh found woodworker James Castle through Meals on Wheels volunteer Henry Buck.

Castle cut out 14 trees, and McNeely spray painted them green. During three volunteer work sessions, pine tree pipe cleaners and silver forks and spoons tagged with giving options and ribbons decorated the trees. A silver tray serves as the base, and each tree is displayed with a sign that says, “Senior Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday, Please take an ornament for your tree and send a donation to help provide meals for the homebound in Rowan County.”

Murtaugh said, “We hope the trees will be empty when we go back to check on them next week. We have made extra ornaments so we can refill the trees and folks can keep on making contributions to support home-delivered meals.”

McNeely added, “we only made 14 trees for our first try, but we hope it is successful so that we can double our efforts next year.”

The trees are located at Koco Java, The Shuckin’ Shack, Sidewalk Deli, The Medicine Shoppe, L.A. Murph’s, The JF Hurley YMCA, St. John’s Lutheran Church, The Smoke Pit, Spanky’s, The Palms Café, Life Church, Trinity Oaks, Gerry Wood Auto, and the Meals on Wheels Office in Spencer.

For more information or to reserve your Giving Tree for 2019, contact Rose Jones at or 704-633-0352.