Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woman's Legacy Lives on Daughter Keeps Up Charity Work

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woman's Legacy Lives on Daughter Keeps Up Charity Work

Article excerpt

Yvonne Lane is continuing the charitable work her late mother started years ago in their Brentwood neighborhood.

When Lane and volunteers passed out hundreds of holiday food baskets to the elderly this week, she did it in a park renamed this year in honor of her mother, Catherine H. McNair.

The food and gifts she passed out at the former Brentwood Park, now McNair Park, were also gathered through a non-profit organization started by her mother. Lane is now executive director of the program, Bridge the Gap.

The name evolved from the work McNair did to help provide items for the elderly -- cleaning supplies and toiletries -- that food stamps wouldn't pay for. McNair also organized groups to provide Thanksgiving for Brentwood's elderly and needy. Eventually she expanded the program to provide holiday food baskets to seniors.

"To tell you the truth, my mother just had a lot of love in her heart," Lane said. "And she particularly had a soft spot for the elderly. She just loved old people -- always did. So we had to do our best to continue her work."

In addition to passing out bags full of food at McNair Park this week, Bridge the Gap also provides a "fun gift" for the seniors, and also a gift for the grandchildren who often live with those seniors.

"We don't want the elderly to get blue around the holidays," Lane said. "That's why we want to give them a gift along with the food -- even if it's just a stuffed animal or a cute mug or something. We want them to know someone cares, because this can be a tough time for them."

Lane said her mother started Bridge the Gap after volunteering in community centers and seeing a lot of the elderly looking unkempt and wearing the same clothes day after day.

"Her heart would break at the thought of them not looking their best," Lane said. "That's why she started gathering toiletries for them. She really wanted them to smell good and look good. She knew that would make them feel better, and it did. …

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