Making 'doing good' a priority this Christmas

By Matt Porter

December 25, 2013 Updated Dec 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Volunteer Lauren Bass delivers a warm meal and greeting to each person on her Meals on Wheels delivery route.

Now a student at SUNY Broome, she's been involved with Meals on Wheels since she was in high school.

"It's really nice to be able to help around the community and give meals to who maybe can't prepare them themselves," Bass said.

In the summer she helps almost every day she can, she knows the importance even a short visit can mean.

"Sometimes we're the only people these people see that we deliver to," Bass said.

Today, she was one of more than 30 volunteers driving and delivering a hot and cold meal to the sick and infirm of Binghamton and eastern Broome County.

The program in Binghamton and eastern Broome County is partially funded by federal money through the Broome County Office for Aging.

Volunteer Paul Arnold, a retiree, has been driving for Meals on Wheels for nine years, he said a lot has changed about his old neighborhood.

"People need help, there's a lot of people that need help," Arnold said. "And it's part of the Christmas spirit."

Pope Francis has called on society to pay more attention to the poor in his first year as Pope.

Father John Donovan of Saint James Catholic Church in Johnson City agrees and said his message should be the lifeblood of the Catholic Church.

"We have to remember that Christ was born as a homeless person, Jesus was born as a homeless person," Donovan said. "So it's important for us to recognize in our midst those who we tend to overlook."

As Christians everywhere celebrate Christmas, Donovan said more people are paying attention to the Pope's call.

"People who haven't discussed it before, who haven't been involved in outreach to our community are becoming involved now," he said.

For people like Bass, who has been serving others for years, she thinks it could help everyone if more gave back.

"Maybe there would be less hardships around and problems if people just helped each other," Bass said. "It doesn't take a lot of time."

Bass said the value she gets is almost as important as what she gives to her clients.

"The difference you make is amazing, and I think everybody should have the chance to experience that in their lives," she said.

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