By Ellen McIntosh
IT was the client's reaction to her gift which took seasoned Penrith courier Kathleen Kinchington by surprise.
"It was just a covered coat hanger, but I guess the thought behind it must have touched her heart," she said. "The tears began to flow and she couldn't thank me enough."
A courier with prepared meals supplier Tender Loving Cuisine (TLC) for the past nine years, Mrs. Kinchington said her job had some great moments.
"People are just so grateful when you show up with their meals and their eyes light up when you come with a Christmas gift as well."
She often clocks up to 230 km a day delivering dinners using her own car to pick up from the TLC factory at Marrickville and delivering to clients from Emu Plains to Wahroonga on the North Shore.
She liked to give her elderly clients something extra during the festive season, Mrs. Kinchington said. "As well as the dinners I like to give them a Christmas card and a little gift. I make little covered coat hangers and crochet-edged hand towels for my clients.
"It's not a lot but you should see the reaction ? people are thrilled. There are a lot of lonely people out there and they really enjoy the companionship."
TLC chief executive Jack Barker said many clients were in their 80s and 90s, some even aged over 100, and loneliness was a big issue for many.
"I actually don't see them as clients but as friends," Mrs. Kinchington said. "When I go delivering I'm really visiting my friends. I've done everything from post letters to mop floors and put meals in the microwave for them."
Not even a recent broken ankle and surgery could stop her: "I've managed.
Phone 1800 801 200 or visit www.tlc.org.au for more details about Tender Loving Cuisine and delivery days.
Copyright, PENRITH PRESS