‘It’s very nice to be remembered’: Meals on Wheels recipients surprised during delivery by Angel Tree gifts

Local News

It’s the season of giving and Ryan Nissan teamed up with the Minot Commission on Aging to bring some holiday cheer to senior citizens.

“The employees of Ryan Nissan came up with this idea of developing an Angel Tree and so that’s what we did,” said Kathleen Gaddie, the owner of Ryan Nissan in Minot. “Trying to make sure that the elderly, sometimes the people that we forget about at Christmas time, would have maybe just a little merrier Christmas.”

“We have a lot of things going on this time of year, a lot of different groups come in and volunteer and help out our seniors,” said Roger Reich, the executive director of the Minot Commission on Aging. “And it’s a great time for the seniors to get something special from an organization and go out, and meet with them and things like that. Lots of times these are the only people that our seniors see throughout the week.”

Over 300 gifts were collected this year, which is double the amount that was collected last year. Employees accompanied Meals on Wheels volunteers on their routes and handed the gifts to people receiving meals.

Nyla Jean Ekblad has been receiving meals five days a week for nearly a year and says she was not expecting a Christmas gift.

“I’m just sort of surprised and so very thankful,” said Ekblad. “It’s very nice to be remembered.”

Something that wasn’t a surprise was the fact that Ryan Nissan was behind the present.

“I think that’s a wonderful thing that they’re doing, but then I do think they do an awful lot around from what I see from television,” said Ekblad.

And as for what Ekblad thinks will be waiting for her when she unwraps her gift…

“I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s gonna be a big surprise!” said Ekblad.

Gaddie says she wants to grow the Angel Tree initiative even more in 2022.

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