Gift card purchase supports seniors during pandemic

Waitress Corynn Oscar takes a customer’s order during the restaurant’s Full Car Side Service on Saturday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

SMYRNA — It started with 40 gift cards to the Smyrna Diner.

The hope is it can become more.

Caring Hearts Home Care purchased the gift cards from the Smyrna Diner with the goal of distributing them to the elderly in need on Thursday. By Friday, the Smyrna Diner had found a taker for all 40.

Caring Hearts, located in Dover, provides in-home personal care and assistance with daily living activities to seniors. It believes its donation to the Smyrna Diner can spark similar acts to support seniors and local small businesses.

“What we’d like to do is make that a trend,” said Caring Hearts assistant director Michael Hudson. “Other small businesses can pick up and run with that as we did.”

The Smyrna Diner spent Friday morning hand-delivering and mailing the gift cards to those in need. It continues to accept donations and to deliver meals to the elderly in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This has done so much for our spirits in this trying time,” the Smyrna Diner posted on its Facebook page. “It feels amazing to help fill a need in the community.”

Caring Hearts Home Care purchased 40 gift cards to the Smyrna Diner to distribute to the elderly. Courtesy of Smyrna Diner

Caring Hearts’ caregivers are still making in-home visits while taking the proper precautions during the pandemic.

Mr. Hudson said Caring Hearts is searching for more caregivers to hire and all current employees are getting a temporary raise through the next month.

Caring Hearts is offering any senior who needs essential items a free delivery service. This includes groceries, medications, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

That service was in place before the pandemic began.

Caring Hearts has also donated to a program to help the elderly have enough money to feed their pets.

“All of us are doing this together,” Mr. Hudson said. “We can’t wait on anyone to step up, everyone has got to step up. All the small businesses, we’re in this together.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.