In December of 2008, I began the next phase of my career as the President & CEO of Meals on Wheels San Diego County. I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead the agency that is both mine and my husband’s charity of choice for our philanthropic contributions. During my first week, I accompanied B.G. Lewis and another volunteer on a route in East County. It was a wonderful, interesting and fun experience until we reached the fourth house on our delivery route. Our senior, Ruth, was not answering the door and the two volunteers knew she was home. In a split second, they went into emergency mode; calling into the house, calling the Service Center office, and knocking on all the doors and windows. The next thing I knew, B.G. and his partner were hoisting me up to peek in the window of her back bedroom. There she was, huddled underneath a pile of blankets to stay warm. Ruth had turned off her heat due to the high cost of her energy bills. Our staff stepped in and coordinated assistance with the utility company and contacted Ruth’s nephew in Utah regarding the overall health of his Aunt.
This situation highlights the overall importance of Meals on Wheels as being more than a meal. Ruth continued to receive meals and friendly visits by our volunteers and staff. She was able to live in her home longer because of our service and that is where she wanted to be.
Every day our volunteers are delivering healthy meals to seniors who are homebound. More importantly, they are ready to face any situation. Whether it is spending a few extra minutes to cheer someone who spends their day isolated and alone, or if there is a need to respond to a life threatening situation, we are there. Time and again, our volunteers say they “get” more than they receive, knowing they make a difference in the lives of so many.
Of course, we could not provide this comfort and support without you. Your donations keep our vital service alive, strong and there for our San Diego seniors in need. If you can find it in your heart to help us, we thank you. And. . . so do our seniors.