MANCHESTER CENTER >> For the past 18 years, Reverend Jim Gray has paid bi-weekly visits to Equinox Terrace Assisted Living to perform religious services and spend time with the residents at the assisted living community.
Reverend Gray embodies a strong dedication to serving others, especially seniors, through his volunteer efforts and personal life. Because of his dedication to giving back and his willingness to serve others, Equinox Terrace Assisted Living presented Reverend Gray with the annual Equinox Terrace Assisted Living Senior Service Award. The senior service award is presented by Equinox Terrace each year to a deserving senior volunteer who dedicates their time to the benefit of other local seniors, and acknowledges the important work seniors do to give back to their community. Additionally, the community also recognizes Community Food Cupboard for the organization's commitment to providing nutritious food to people in need. Community Food Cupboard and Reverend Gray were each awarded a $500 gift from Equinox Terrace Assisted Living during a special ceremony held at the senior living community on Aug. 26.
"I'm incredibly stunned and touched to receive this award," said Reverend Gray. "When I first began my visits to Equinox Terrace, it was to ensure that my parishioners who lived there remained connected to the church and still felt valued within our community. Since then, it's become so much more, and I find it difficult to believe it's been 18 years since my first trip. In addition to my pastoral visits and leading worship, I've also established a yearly book study and prayer group which many residents dearly appreciate. Equinox Terrace is a wonderful place – I've really fallen in love with it and the people who live there. I know that for many, moving into an assisted living community can be quite the adjustment, and I want to do what I can to make that change an extension of their lives.
Reverend Gray is the minister at the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert, and he spends his time volunteering and working with the local community. He believes in the importance of taking the church to the people, and lives that philosophy daily. His dedication to serving others is an inspiration and example on how to treat others and live well.
Like Reverend Gray, Community Food Cupboard, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to bettering the lives of those in need throughout the local community. The mission of the Community Food Cupboard is to provide food to those in need in the nearby area. They provide hundreds of low-income families with assistance and distribute 20,000 pounds of food each month. Community Food Cupboard is a member agency of the Vermont Foodbank, and is sustained through the generous donations of food and funds from individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations in the local community.
"We are honored and thrilled to receive the Equinox Terrace Assisted Living Senior Service Award," said Martha Carey, executive director of the Community Food Cupboard. "It takes a great deal of effort and support to make what we do possible. We're pleased to be recognized, and excited to know there are people in our community who are behind us and appreciate what Community Food Cupboard has achieved for our community."
"It's our privilege to recognize area individuals and organizations that are dedicated to providing services that focus on the happiness and wellbeing of others, especially seniors, in our local community," said Ann Bouza, executive director of Equinox Terrace. "Reverend Gray and the staff and volunteers at the Community Food Cupboard are an inspiration for their willingness to serve others and give back to our community. At Equinox Terrace Assisted Living, we work every day to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of our residents, and we are honored to recognize those who hold those same values and beliefs."